La Salle University Art Museum
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French Cartoon


French Cartoon, 19th Century

Ink and Graphite on Paper



This 19th century French cartoon depicts a gentleman who has just returned from an outing. On the floor are his bags, resting while the gentleman searches his pockets for his keys. The caption reads “I think it’s best to smile.” The quip suggests the man has forgotten his keys inside and is locked out.

Current Condition of the Artwork:

The sketch has been poorly handled and stored. The tears and folds make it vulnerable and will affect its long-term preservation. 

Conservation Treatment Proposed: 

  • Non-image areas of the paper will be selectively surface cleaned.
  • Remove tape.
  • Mend/reinforce paper with Japanese paper and wheat starch paste.  The loss to the center left edge will be filled with a western wove paper that is similar in weight, tone, and texture, and the drawing’s missing section of outline will be inpainted to blend the inserted mending paper into the primary paper.
  • Humidify and flatten.
  • All materials used will be appropriate and conservation quality. All work will adhere to the highest standards of the field. 

Estimated Cost of Treatment:  $1,000.00