Jean Louis Forain, French, 1852-1931
Title: A Scene in the Law Courts
Date: c.1900-1910
Medium: Oil on canvas
74 x 82 cm
Signed: lower left: Forain
Credit Line: Purchased, 1934
Object Number: NGI.965
Exhibition HistoryFrench 19th and 20th Century Paintings from the National Gallery of Ireland: Corot to Picasso, Daimaru Museum, Tokyo, 5 September - 17 September 1996; Daimaru Museum, Kyoto, 10 October - 22 October 1996; Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, Yamanashi, 26 October - 2 December 1996; Daimaru Museum, Umeda,Osaka, 22 January - 9 February 1997; Aomori Municpal Gallery of Art, Aomori, 2 April - 20 April 1997

Shades of Grey: Painting without Colour, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 22 June - 29 September 2013
Label TextForain was an illustrator and painter of Parisian life. After converting to Roman Catholicism in 1900, he stopped depicting cafés and theatres and turned his attention to religious subjects and courtroom scenes. This picture shows two women in court surrounded by officials. The younger woman, dressed in a showy fur trimmed cloak, sits back while her companion confers with a lawyer. Their dress and demeanour suggest that they are a prostitute and procuress. Forain was highly critical of the French judicial system. He used dark tones to convey the austerity of the courts and the bleak plights of the poor who attended them.