Street Musicians

Jean Léon Gérôme (1824–1904) painted this scene of Pifferari or street musicians serenading an unseen image of the Virgin Mary in 1870. Camille Piton etched it for an auction catalog of works from the collection of J. C. Runkle, which were sold on March 8, 1883. The auction was organized by Samuel P. Avery, art dealer and print collector. Pifferari come from the mountains in Calabria, Italy, and from the Abruzzi to play bagpipes and reed instruments like the piffero, a kind of oboe, before images of the Virgin in Rome during the Christmas season. Jean Léon Gérôme was a favorite painter of Stephen Ferris, who named his son after him.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
original artist
Gerôme, Jean-Léon
graphic artist
Piton, Camille
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
image: 14 cm x 11.5 cm; 5 1/2 in x 4 1/2 in
plate: 16 cm x 13.5 cm; 6 5/16 in x 5 5/16 in
sheet: 30 cm x 22.5 cm; 11 13/16 in x 8 7/8 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Music & Musical Instruments
Cultures & Communities
Ferris Collection
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Graphic Arts
Ferris Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Wright, David G.. American Reproductive and Replica Etchings

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