Death of the Vagabond

La mort du vagabond

Alphonse Legros (French, 1837–1911)

Catalogue Raisonné

I.F.F. 19C 62; Bliss 89


Sheet: 64.3 x 45.8 cm (25 5/16 x 18 1/16 in.) Platemark: 55 x 38.9 cm (21 5/8 x 15 5/16 in.) Image: 53.3 x 37.7 cm (21 x 14 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Etching, drypoint, and aquatint

Not On View


Europe, Prints and Drawings



“Death of the Vagabond,” 1875, embodies Legros’s influential adherence to realist motifs as well as his taste for dark subject matter. His thick etched line and coarse-grained aquatint reinforce the charged emotion of the subject. The mystical association of the dying man and the dying tree also help to pave the way for Symbolist works of the following decade. This tendency is also seen in Legros’s suggestion of the hat brim to suggest a halo sanctifying the cast-off man.


Signed lower right in graphite pencil: A. Legros
Lower left in graphite pencil: La mort du vagabond / 89


Gallerie Michel (Paris); from whom purchased by Eric Bartholomay (Coventry, RI); his gift to MFA, 22 November 2006.

Credit Line

Gift of Eric Bartholomay