The Third Class Carriage

The Third Class Carriage by Honore Daumier

The Third Class Carriage by Honore Daumier was produced in 1862 and is considered to be one of the famous artworks of  movement. The work can be viewed now at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Medium: Oil Painting 

Subject(s): carriage, railways


The Third Class Carriage is an oil painting produced between 1862 and 1864 by French painter Honore Daumier.

Honore Daumier’s paintings were influenced by rail traveling theme and painted many images on similar theme since 1840’s. During 1860s, and as of now too, third-class railway carriages were for only those people who couldn’t afford first or second class tickets. These carriages were dirty and open having hard benches for sitting. On the left hand side of this painting, a woman was holding her baby on a bench, a young boy  was asleep while another older woman hands were clasped onto a basket. They were seated and facing the viewer. Behind those benches were several men and women seated.

There was hardly any description available and thought to be were anonymous. Honore Daumier wanted to convey the message of the impact of industrialization during the middle of the nineteenth century in Paris on urban life. Through this painting many were attracted with the hardship and quality of life urban travelers were facing in the Third Class railways.

The second version of this painting can be viewed at the National Gallery of Canada with the same title name as The Third Class Carriage. The sequence of the composition of this painting was still unresolved. The dimensions of this painting The Third Class Carriage were 65.4 cm × 90.2 cm or 25.7 in × 35.5 in.

The work can be viewed at Metropolitan Museum of Art


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