Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College

The Human Comedy: Chronicles of 19th-Century France

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Cavalry Officer with Retinue

Cavalry Officer with Retinue

Ernest Adolphe Hyacinthe Constantin Guys (French, 1802–1892) Cavalry Officer with Retinue, 1850s Graphite pencil and wash General Acquisitions Fund, 1965.23

In “The Painter of Modern Life,” Baudelaire celebrated the work of watercolorist and draftsman Constantin Guys, war correspondent and man of the world. Baudelaire admired numerous aspects of Guys’s work—his spontaneity and swiftness of execution, his interest in the hustle and bustle of contemporary life rather than in works of antiquity, and his tendency to draw from memory rather than directly from models or from nature.