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The Movings

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Louis Léopold Boilly
French, 1761-1845

About this artwork

This slickly painted street scene uses the housing crisis of post-Revolutionary Paris, which forced poor people to move frequently in search of affordable homes, as a metaphor for other “movings” in life, particularly the transition from life to death. At center, a carriage loaded with furniture transports a young woman with her baby while, to their right, a black hearse moves towards the ethereal Roman church in the distance. The artist crossing the scene, easel in hand, just behind the horse may allude to the transient nature of such work, which often included travel between Rome and Paris.


On View, Gallery 221


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Louis-Léopold Boilly


The Movings


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


Inscribed lower right: L. Boilly 1822


73 × 92 cm (28 3/4 × 36 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Harold L. Stuart Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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