The Third-Class Carriage is a c. 1862-1864 oil on canvas painting by Honoré Daumier, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A similar painting by Daumier with the same title is in the National Gallery of Canada.
Daumier had drawn and painted images of rail travel since the 1840s. This version of The Third-Class Carriage appears to be closely related to an 1864 watercolor now in the Walters Art Museum. The painting is unfinished, and is squared for transfer.
In 1830, after learning the still fairly new process of lithography, he began to contribute political cartoons to the anti-government weekly Caricature. He was an ardant Republican and was sentenced to six months' imprisonment in 1832 for his attacks on Louis-Philippe, whom he represented as `Gargantua swallowing bags of gold extorted from the people'. On the suppression of political satire in 1835 he began to work for Charivari and turned to satire of social life, but at the time of the 1848 revolution he returned to political subjects. He is said to have made more than 4,000 lithographs, wishing each time that the one he had just made could be his last. In the last years of his life he was almost blind and was saved from destitution by Corot... WebMuseum
As a chronicler of modern urban life, Daumier captured the effects of industrialization in mid-nineteenth-century Paris. Images of railway travel first appeared in his art in the 1840s. This Third-Class Carriage, originally in oil, was unfinished and squared for transfer, closely corresponds to a watercolor of 1864 (Walters Art Museum, Baltimore). Daumier executed another oil version of the subject, which he finished but extensively reworked (National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa). The Metropolitan Museum of Art ...