• Kavya Singh

The Irritating Gentleman by Berthold Woltze

Der lästige Kavalier or The Irritating Gentleman is a 19th-century oil painting by German portrait artist Berthold Woltze. It was painted in 1874 and is set in a railway carriage, where there are two men and a young woman. The young woman is dressed in black and looks toward the viewer with tears in her eyes, suggesting that she may be a widow.

Leaning over her seat is a middle-aged man with a moustache and a lit cigarette. He appears to be trying to chat her up, quite inappropriately, and much against her wishes.

What makes the depicted scene particularly deplorable is that her clothing and general presentation means to show her mourning the death of her late husband. This painting is thus a commentary on how men shrug off consideration in favour of perceived opportunity.

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