Dornac - Paul Verlaine, 1892

Dornac (Paris, 1858 - 1941, Paris)

Paul Verlaine, 1892

Gelatin silver print, 14 x 19 cm (5 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.)

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Object details

Accession number

P27w83

Object Case

French Authors Case

Provenance

Entered Isabella Stewart Gardner's collection at an unknown date.

Marks

Inscribed in ink over print (bottom edge): café con Vanier, bien cordialement Paul Verlaine, (Du courage a l'ouvrage!) [café with Vanier, best regards Paul Verlaine, Armed for battle!]


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Commentary

French poet Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) is a key figure within the Symbolist movement, a genre of poetry that held great appeal to Isabella Stewart Gardner. This photograph shows the rebellious and hard-drinking poet seated at a banquette in a Parisian café, his ever-present glass of absinthe on the table. His slouched shoulders and heavy-lidded expression convey the depths of his world-weariness, a stance that would have aroused Gardner’s empathy and compassion.