LINDER, Philippe Jacques (1835-?) & REGNIER, BETTANIER & MORLON (lithographers)
Train de Plaisir / Pleasure Train
Paris: Dusacq & Cie. Editeurs, circa 1864. Hand-coloured lithograph after a painting by Linder. Very good condition apart from some mild rippling, a small loss in the top margin, and a few skillfully repaired tears in the bottom margin. Image size (including text): 19 1/8 x 23 1/4 inches. Sheet size: 21 1/2 x 26 1/2 inches.
A beautifully coloured, humorous plate that was most likely part of a series published by Dusacq of images by various artists depicting railway related scenes.
During the mid-nineteenth century, the technological advancement and financial prosperity of France under Napoleon III hastened the development of the railway and other modern modes of transportation such as the omnibus. These improvements brought about a culture of mass tourism, as members of various classes flocked to the railroad to take day trips. An archetypal symbol of modern life, the railway station became a popular subject during the period and was represented and parodied by artists such as Honoré Daumier and William Powell Frith. It was an ideal place to observe a varied cross-section of society and the idiosyncrasies of human behavior.
In the tradition of Daumier's satiric railway scenes from the 1840s and 1850s, Linder exploits the comic possibilities of this bustling modern subject in this charming print. The title, 'Pleasure Train' was most likely intended as an ironic play on words, since pleasure is the last thing enjoyed by the swelling crowd of people on the platform, many of whom scream in frustration as they are pushed and prodded in an effort to exit and enter the train. A pupil of the celebrated artist Charles Gleyre, Philippe Jacques Linder was a genre and portrait painter who regularly exhibited works at the Salon between 1857-1880.
Cf. Benezit, Dictionaire des Peintres, Sculptteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs , vol. 8, p. 679.