Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Artworks in Victor Hugo’s house

With the success of 'Les Misérables' in cinemas, it is a good time to talk about Victor Hugo.

At the end of last year, I visited the Maison de Victor Hugo located Place des Vosges in Paris. Hugo lived in this house for 16 years, between 1832 and 1848. He wrote most of 'Les Misérables' in this house, which is now is a museum.

In this post, I will show you some of the art exhibited throughout the house. In a next post, I will cover Hugo’s drawings. Hugo was not only a prolific writer (poet, novelist, and dramatist) but also a prolific drawer.

Maisons de la Place royale (now Place des Vosges) – Ink on paper by Gustave Fraipont

The most dramatic room in the house is the Oriental room. Such decoration was fashionable at the time.

There are several portraits of Victor Hugo in the house. The best one is by Léon Bonnat. Because of the reflection from the Window, I had to take the picture from the side.

The original of this painting was done in 1877 by Léon Bonnat and exhibited at the Salon of 1879 (major French official art exhibition at the time). The painting in the museum is a copy executed, with the consent of the artist, by one of his former student named Daniel Saubès. This is probably the most well known image of Victor Hugo.

Engraving of Hugo sitting for his portrait

There is a beautiful portrait of Léopoldine, Hugo’s daughter who drowned at the age of 19 in 1843. Hugo wrote many poems about Léopoldine’s death.

Léopoldine au livre d’heures – Oil on canvas by Auguste de Châtillon

There is also a portrait of Victor Hugo’s wife, Adèle Foucher, when she was young.

Adèle Foucher (around 1820) – Oil on canvas by Julie Duvidal de Monferrier (1797-1865)

Julie Duvidal de Monferrier was the student of the painter baron Gérard. She exhibited her work at the Salon from 1819 to 1827. In 1822, Pierre Foucher, Adele’s father, obtained for her a studio in the Hotel de Toulouse. She used this studio until 1827, when she married Victor Hugo’s elder brother and when she gave drawing lessons to Adèle
A caricature of Victor Hugo by Bajamin Roubaud

Panel by Henry Cros (in Hugo House’s staircase)

Related resources

Maison de Victor Hugo (Paris)
Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée
6, place des Vosges
75004 Paris

The permanent collections are free for everyone.
The temporary exhibitions are free for children under14yrs.

More information and opening time.

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