Discover all 14 City of Paris museums

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Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Marietta, or Roman Odalisque
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux - Mademoiselle Fiocre
Louis-Ferdinand  Lachassaigne - Vase - Van Dyck painting his first canvas
Charles Durand dit Carolus-Duran - Mademoiselle de Lancey
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres - Francis I Receives the Last Breaths of Leonardo da Vinci
Fernand Pelez - The Death of Emperor Commodus
Eugène Delacroix - Combat of the Giaour and the Pasha
Jacob Mardochée known as Jacob Petit - Mameluke clock
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux - Buste de Samuel Welles de La Valette
Gustave Courbet - Courbet au chien noir
Édouard Manet - Portrait of Théodore Duret
Louis Léopold Boilly - Portrait of Mademoiselle Athénaïs d’Albenas
Paul Gauguin - Old Man with a Stick
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux - Ugolino
Jan  Van Beers   - Les funérailles de Charles le Bon, Comte de Flandre, célébrées à Bruges dans l’église Saint-Christophe le 22 avril 1127
Gustave Courbet - La sieste pendant la saison des foins (montagne du Doubs)
Alfred de Dreux - Portrait of Mr and Mrs Mosselman and their two daughters
Jean-Désiré Ringel d'Illzach - Portrait of Jeanne et Mrs Albert Dammouse
Octave  Penguilly L’Haridon  - Côtes de Belleville
Gustave Doré - The Vale of Tears
Gustave Doré - L’Ascension

Ball on the 14th of July

Théophile Alexandre
Lausanne, 1859 – Paris, 1923
Oil on canvas
190 x 272 cm

With his diners sitting on café terraces and dancers embracing, Steinlen painted the joyous exuberance of a ball in a colourful and incisive style.

The painter assembled a whole host of familiar figures from popular Paris and its underworld for this celebration of the 14th of July: workers, craftspeople and household staff, but also pimps and crooks, who were nicknamed Apaches at the time.
The street decorated with French flags acts as a backdrop to this night-time party in the light of the paper lanterns.

Based in Montmartre since 1881, the Swiss artist Steinlen was familiar with this joyful popular event. Since its introduction in 1880, France has celebrated the fall of the Bastille on the 14th of July. It symbolises the overthrowing of monarchic power, and is a moment of crystallisation of national identity. Over the years, the events spread to the suburbs of the capital, which were decorated for the occasion with triumphal arches, garlands of leaves, flags and paper lanterns. A keen reader of his friend Zola, Steinlen became known for his illustrations and social and political caricatures, which appeared in the press. But like his Daumier, his senior, painting was the most secret and free part of his creation. In November 1959 the Ball on the 14th of July featured in the Salon’s autumn retrospective devoted to Steinlen. This painting, which is one of the largest painted by the artist, then joined the collections of the City of Paris.

Inventory number: 
Inventory number : PPP04861
Acquisition details : Added to the inventory of the Petit Palais in 1961
Room 3 : Roll and Naturalism
The 19th century
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