Le Wagon de Troisième Classe

Honoré Daumier, 1808 - 1879

Le Wagon de Troisième Classe

Honoré Daumier 1808 - 1879


A gaunt, partially bald man, his eye socket skull-like and his posture weary, gazes out of the window of a third class railway carriage. The passing scenery is visible only as a blur and the other passengers in the background are indicated with great economy. Third class passengers travelled slowly and uncomfortably in wooden carriages, initially uncovered, attached to local mail trains. The sense of frustration and discomfort is highlighted by the oppressively dark and ominous interior, dominated by crimson. A highly successful newspaper caricaturist and political satirist, Daumier was renowned for his lithographs and woodcuts. In the 1860s, he made a series of paintings and drawings on the theme of railways. This is his only study of a solitary traveller.

Display Label

The Third Class Carriage (Le Wagon de Troisième Classe) 1865-66 Honoré Daumier 1808-79 Oil on panel A typical 19th-century transport picture shows a potentially comic mixture of characters squeezed together in an omnibus or train. Daumier does the opposite. He gives his working-class figure a monumental dignity, with time and space to think. Lord Sidney Bernstein bequest 1995.36

Object Name

Le Wagon de Troisième Classe

Creators Name

Honoré Daumier

Date Created

1865 circa


unframed: 29.6cm x 33.6cm
framed: 40.2cm x 46.4cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint

On Display

[G5] Manchester Art Gallery - Gallery 5
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