Skip to main content

Philippe Rousseau, The Fish Market

Key facts
Full title The Fish Market
Artist Philippe Rousseau
Artist dates 1816 - 1887
Date made probably about 1834-50
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 23.8 × 34.6 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented by Henry L. Florence, 1909
Inventory number NG2480
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Fish Market
Philippe Rousseau

An enormous, almost grotesque pile of fish is brilliantly illuminated amid the gloom of its surroundings. The heap seems to consist mainly of skate, but propped up against it is what may be a red mullet. Other highlighted objects break up the gloom, from the saucepan hanging up at the right to the brass interior of the basin propped up underneath, but the combination of pillars, low ceiling and dark brown tones makes for a claustrophobic scene. In the shadows to the left, a woman at the far end of the table is gutting a fish. Through openings at the back the white coiffed hats of further women can be glimpsed.

Philippe Rousseau was a great exponent of still-life painting, from flowers and food to kitchen utensils. He was influenced both by the French eighteenth-century artist Chardin and by earlier Flemish market scenes featuring prominent and detailed foreground still lifes.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo