Head of a Clown

Creation date
oil and gouache on paper mounted on linen
25-1/2 x 19-1/2 in.
Credit line
Gift in memory of William Ray Adams
Accession number
Currently On View In
William L. and Jane H. Fortune Gallery - H200

Clowns, a popular motif in French art from 18th-century painter Antoine Watteau through Picasso, often appear in Rouault's work. They are his Everyman, assuming a wide range of different guises.

Much of Rouault's art and life revolved around anguished themes of sin, suffering and atonement. This image takes on the tragic features of Christ as the Man of Sorrows and expresses suffering in a universal sense. Its smoldering color and emphatic line reflect Rouault's early training in stained glass.

Provenance Research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and information will be added to this record as research is completed. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Assoc. Curator of Research, at aschlagenhauff@imamuseum.org with any questions.
Reproduction of these images, including downloading, is prohibited without written authorization from VAGA.

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