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Genre Drawings

Genre drawings refer to scenes of everyday life rendered in drawing media, which includes pencil, ink, and pastel. They offer a window into the daily lives of people living in a different era and include fascinating indications of the clothing, customs, diet, and pastimes of vastly different cultures. Due to their abundance and the relatively modest status at the time of their creation, they can be purchased at very affordable prices today.

Genre drawing rose to prominence in the 17th century as artists of the recently independent Dutch Republic began to cater to the tastes of a new art buying demographic. While royalty and wealthy land owners had historically made up the bulk of art patrons, a burgeoning middle class proposed a new category of buyers, and artists shifted their practice to cater to their tastes.

Genre drawings reflect the everyday lives of these new patrons, including scenes of taverns, domestic settings, and markets. French artists in the 18th and 19th centuries similarly illustrated happenings of daily life, most notably tableaus of domesticity and leisure.


Quick Facts

  • Dutch genre drawings often express moral undertones, condemning overindulgence and promiscuity
  • The critic Quatremére de Quincy coined the term "genre" in relation to fine art in 1791. It is derived from the French word for "kind" or "type"
  • 19th century French artists Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin and Jean-Honoré Fragonard are two of the most famous producers of genre drawings

Recommended Items at Auction

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DANY (Daniel Henrotin dit) Né en 1943 Festival de Saint-Malo
Dec 01, 12:00 PM CET
DANY (Daniel Henrotin dit) Né en 1943 Festival de Saint-Malo
by Artcurial
Est: €2,000- €3,000
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Frank MARGERIN Né en 1952 Lucien et les promesses de Noël
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Frank MARGERIN Né en 1952 Lucien et les promesses de Noël
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Est: €100- €200
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ACHDÉ (Hervé Darmenton dit) Né en 1961 Les Aventures de Lucky Luke d'après Morris - Tome 1
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ACHDÉ (Hervé Darmenton dit) Né en 1961 Les Aventures de Lucky Luke d'après Morris - Tome 1
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Lajos Gulácsy (1882-1932)-attributed
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Lajos Gulácsy (1882-1932)-attributed
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Nikifor (Polish 1895 - 1968)
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MAËSTER (Jean-Marie Ballester dit) Né en 1959 Sœur Marie-Thérèse - Tome 6
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MAËSTER (Jean-Marie Ballester dit) Né en 1959 Sœur Marie-Thérèse - Tome 6
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Eric LOUTTE Né en 1961 Biggles - Tome 9
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Eric LOUTTE Né en 1961 Biggles - Tome 9
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Paul GILLON 1926 - 2011 Les Naufragés du temps - Tome 8
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Paul GILLON 1926 - 2011 Les Naufragés du temps - Tome 8
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Raymond REDING 1920 - 1999 Section R
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Raymond REDING 1920 - 1999 Section R
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Albert WEINBERG 1922-2011 Dan Cooper - Tome 18
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Albert WEINBERG 1922-2011 Dan Cooper - Tome 18
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Jean-Claude FOREST 1930 - 1998 Enfants c'est l'Hydragon qui passe
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Jean-Claude FOREST 1930 - 1998 Enfants c'est l'Hydragon qui passe
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Michel ROUGE Né en 1950 Blueberry
Dec 01, 12:00 PM CET
Michel ROUGE Né en 1950 Blueberry
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Milo MANARA Né en 1945 Métamorphose de Lucius
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Milo MANARA Né en 1945 Métamorphose de Lucius
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BERCK (Arthur Berckmans dit) 1929 - 2020 Strapontin - Tome 1
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BERCK (Arthur Berckmans dit) 1929 - 2020 Strapontin - Tome 1
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FLOC'H (Jean-Claude Floc'h dit) Né en 1953 Les Hommes
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FLOC'H (Jean-Claude Floc'h dit) Né en 1953 Les Hommes
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Arthur PIROTON 1931-1996 Michel et Thierry - Tome 3
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Arthur PIROTON 1931-1996 Michel et Thierry - Tome 3
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Philippe VUILLEMIN Né en 1958 Ca va cogner !
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Philippe VUILLEMIN Né en 1958 Ca va cogner !
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Jim DAVIS Né en 1945 Garfield's Diet
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Jim DAVIS Né en 1945 Garfield's Diet
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Est: €600- €800
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MARVANO (Mark Van Oppen dit) Né en 1953 Berlin -Tome 1
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MARVANO (Mark Van Oppen dit) Né en 1953 Berlin -Tome 1
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Jean-Claude CLAEYS Né en 1951 US Air Force
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Jean-Claude CLAEYS Né en 1951 US Air Force
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James Kearns, "Couple with Child"
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James Kearns, "Couple with Child"
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Hal Missingham 1906-1994
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Hal Missingham 1906-1994
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Rien Poortvliet (Schiedam 1932 - 1995 Soest), Hunters in the field, signed (lower left)
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Sellers Who Sell Genre Drawings


Artcurial

Artcurial

Arenberg Auctions

Arenberg Auctions

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Swann Auction Galleries

Swann Auction Galleries