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Storytelling in Miniature

Horace Vernet
French, 1789–1863

Scene on the Shore

Lithograph, about 1830
2 1/2 x 5 5/8 in.
Museum purchase, 1922.89

The dark foreground, the gradually fading tones in the mid section, and the light reflecting from the buildings in the background suggest a deep space remarkable in a print of such small size and delicate execution.Horace Vernet was best known for his grand paintings of battle scenes; however, he chose to work in a less classical style than was popular at the time. He often used contemporary battles as subjects, showing the casualties and horrors along with the valor and glory. The same working principle was applied to his prints, where contemporary subjects predominate. It is perhaps because of their small scale that many of his prints treat themes of everyday life.