The J. Paul Getty Museum

[Les Petits Savoyards (Street Musicians)]

Object Details


[Les Petits Savoyards (Street Musicians)]


Camille Silvy (French, 1834 - 1910)




about 1860


Albumen silver print

Object Number:



27.9 × 22.2 cm (11 × 8 3/4 in.)

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Object Description

Camille Silvy photographed these juvenile street musicians outside the door of his studio in Porchester Terrace, London. They are dressed shabbily, not quite in rags; each holds his instrument, a hurdy-gurdy. The seated one scowls at the camera, looking pained, and the standing one eyes the photographer warily. Their position on the outside of the looming open gate suggests that the children are excluded; they belong on the far side of the walls, not inside them. The atmospheric rendering of the distance also separates the harshly drawn boys in the foreground from the soft interior.

Persistent Themes: Notable Photography Acquisitions, 1985-1990 (June 5 to September 2, 1990)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), June 5 to September 2, 1990
Silvy's River Scene, France: The Story of a Photograph (December 15, 1992 to February 28, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), December 15, 1992 to February 28, 1993
Arrows of Time: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (January 24 to April 2, 1995)
  • Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center at UCLA (Los Angeles), January 24 to April 2, 1995
Capturing Time: A Celebration of Photographs (December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998