Portrait of Jeanne Duval by Charles Baudelaire
Drawn in Indian ink
Portrait of Jeanne Duval
A drawing by Charles Baudelaire
9'' x 13'' frame
Jeanne Duval, a drawing by Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire's reputation today rests on the sulphurous poetry of that iconic masterpiece of world literature, Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil). His life work, published in 1857, it created such a scandal that six of the poems were banned by a Paris court. The involvement in the visual arts of this Parisian dandy is less well-known. Baudelaire is now seen as the most important art critic of his time, an early theorist of modernism who identified and supported some of its founding figures – Delacroix and Manet notably. His particular love of drawing and his own gift for it are even less known, but in fact he readily turned his pen from poetry and art criticism to sketching figure studies, portraits and self-portraits.
It is in his book of intimate jottings, Mon cœur mis à nu (My Heart Laid Bare), that Baudelaire declares his 'great, unique, original passion' for art, with the famous injunction 'glorify the cult of images'. His publisher, Auguste Poulet-Malassis, who owned a number of Baudelaire's drawings, commented that they were 'all the more striking in that when he took up the pencil or the pen it was on the spur of the moment, as if to unburden himself of some face or figure definitively imprinted on his memory, and to fix it in a few decisive strokes'.
Jeanne Duval, the poet's muse
Baudelaire particularly sought to capture the striking looks of his lover, Jeanne Duval, met in 1842 when he was only twenty-one. Almost nothing is known of this mysterious actress, thought to have been born in Haiti and nicknamed 'the Black Venus'. She and Baudelaire had a long stormy relationship, punctuated by separations and reunions, and marked by letters that have unfortunately not survived. She was his muse and obsession and the inspiration for a complete cycle of eighteen poems within Les Fleurs du mal, one of which was among those condemned by the Paris court.
Drawn in Indian ink
This magisterial drawing in pen and Indian ink dated 27 February 1865 by Auguste Poulet-Malassis, was purchased during a sale at Hôtel Drouot in 1988, and is now in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay, in Paris. It is inscribed by the artist with the Latin phrase 'Quaerens quem devoret' - 'seeking whom they may devour'. Baudelaire's view of Jeanne Duval as a devouring beast had earlier vividly been encapsulated in his despairing poem Le Vampire, where it is nevertheless balanced by his love for her. This drawing, done from memory several years after he stopped living with her, is vivid evidence of the enduring yet highly equivocal nature of that love. For Baudelaire the act of drawing was a struggle between nature and the artist. Here, in powerful pen strokes, he has perhaps succeeded in revealing both the troubled essence of his model and of his feelings for her.
The drawing is presented in a double-glass framing (9 x 13").
Wooden frame, made in France. Each frame is hand-assembled in our workshops in Cambremer.
Thanks to a new reproduction of the only full draft of Mrs. Dalloway, handwritten in three notebooks and initially titled “The Hours,” we now know that the story she completed — about a day in the life of a London housewife planning a dinner party — was a far cry from the one she’d set out to write (...)
Eric Karl Anderson (@lonesomereader) shares an enlightening
video about Mrs. Dalloway. Thank you!
The original hand-written manuscript of Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway is to be published for the first time, revealing numerous changes the author, pictured, made to one of her most famous works. (...)
Mrs Dalloway by Parisian publisher SP Books brings together Virginia Woolf's three handwritten notebooks in which she wrote the classic text in one luxury hand-bound edition. The volume represents a return to 'slow reading' in a digital age, offering an intimate insight into the wnter's mind and thought-process, and giving new life to a well-loved classic (...)
Virginia Woolf’s handwritten notebooks in which she penned Mrs Dalloway are being published as a facsimile manuscript for the first time by Parisian press SP Books. Her draft for the classic novel was written between June 1923 and October 1924. It reveals substantial editing, re-writing and corrections, including her original intention to have Mrs Dalloway commit suicide. (...)
The draft, which was penned in purple ink in three notebooks between June 1923 and October 1924, shows she changed the title from the original name The Hours and also altered the first sentence to eventually read: “Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”
It shows the pencil margin she drew on each page of the notebooks, in which she recorded the date, word count and personal memos and notes for her essays. (...)
The manuscript shows the pencil margin she drew on each page of the notebooks, in which she recorded the date, word count and personal memos and notes for her essays. (...)
The volume represents a return to ‘slow reading’ in a digital age, offering an intimate insight into the writer’s mind and thought-process, and giving new life to a well loved classic. (...)
A new edition of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway released in handwritten manuscript form for the first time by independent Parisian publishers SP Books. (...)
SP Books is publishing this month the first and only full-length draft of Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, bringing together a facsimile manuscript of the three notebooks in which she drafted, edited, re-wrote and corrected the novel. (...)
SP Books, a Parisian publishing house specialising in the publication of classic manuscripts, has announced that it will publish the original handwritten manuscript of Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. (...)