The Poacher

Gabriel Alexandre Decamps

French, 1803–1860

The Poacher

c. 1847

A solitary poacher, his game bag stained with blood, walks through a snowy landscape clasping his hands in the cold. Decamps painted this image during a stay near the forest of Fontainebleau, a period when he felt frustrated by his lack of success in Paris. Perhaps the artist felt some sympathy for poachers, whose activities placed them on the edge of mainstream society.

Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 9 1/2 x 7 5/16 in. (24.1 x 18.6 cm) Frame: 17 1/8 x 15 x 2 1/8 in. (43.5 x 38.1 x 5.4 cm)
Object Number 1955.700
Acquisition Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark before 1955
Status Off View

Image Caption

Gabriel Alexandre Decamps, The Poacher, c. 1847, Oil on canvas. The Clark Art Institute, 1955.700.


Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.


M. T. von Feldt; [Wildenstein, New York, sold to Clark, 27 Sept. 1945, as Le Braconnier]; Robert Sterling Clark (1945–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.