Collection Online
The alms giver

The alms giver
(mid 19th century-late 19th century)

oil on wood panel
31.0 × 19.5 cm
inscribed in black paint l.r.: EM (monogram)
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1905
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International

Remained with the artist, until his death, 1891; by descent to his widow, Elisabeth Meissonier (1840–98, nee Bezanson); included in Meissonier estate sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 12-20 May 1893 (Lugt 51744), no. 115 (bought in); with an unknown dealer, Paris, by 1905; from where purchased, by Bernard Hall, for the Felton Bequest, 1905.

Meissonier is best known for his grand scale history paintings and huge scenes of Napoleonic battles. These large works were shown at the Paris Salon and brought Meissonier great fame, leading him to become President of the Salon Jury in 1889. However, he also excelled in producing small jewel like genre paintings, such as this work and The hired assassins, where his great technique could be appreciated by the viewer without being overwhelmed by a large and busy painting. This horseman is reaching into his pocket to find a coin to give to an unseen beggar.


Unknown - 19th century