Lot n° 111
8000 - 10000
Result with fees
: 7 908EUR
HUGO Victor (1802-1885).
Original Sketch with autograph caption, Souvenir d'Apreville; brown ink, pen and wash, 25 x 19.5 cm, framed under glass.
Medieval village at the foot of a castle.
There is apparently no Apreville, but it is the old form of Épreville, the name of several Norman villages, and the francized form of the Breton place name Kergaro. It can also be a way to designate a village of unpleasant appearance.
Victor Hugo drew landscapes during his travels in France, Spain, Belgium and Holland, Germany, but also retrospective "souvenirs", mainly executed in exile in Guernsey and Jersey, such as Souvenir d'Espagne or
Souvenir de Chelles (Maison de Victor Hugo).
Finally, he composed many imaginary landscapes, often inspired by the Middle Ages: fortified cities, ruins, burgs... These burgs also haunt his literary work, such as the castle of Corbus in the poem Eviradnus in La Légende des siècles (1859), which could perfectly comment on this drawing.
Théophile Gautier evoked Hugo the draftsman very well in his Preface to the collection of Victor Hugo's Drawings (1863): "How often, when we were given the opportunity to be admitted almost every day into the intimacy of the illustrious writer, did we not follow with a wondering eye the transformation of an ink or coffee stain on a letter envelope, on the first piece of paper that came along, into a landscape, a castle, a marine of strange originality, where, from the clash of rays and shadows, an unexpected, striking, mysterious effect arose, and which astonished even the professional painters... It is not difficult to guess, with the prodigious plastic feeling of the writer, that he would have been as easily a great painter as a great poet; the power of objectivity that he possesses would have served him for paintings as it serves him for pages and books"... "
Provenance: collection André SCHOELLER (according to the handwritten mention in Spanish at the bottom of the page by its purchaser in 1947); collection Pierre and Franca BELFOND (February 14, 2012, n° 51).
Exhibitions: Drawings by French Writers of the 19th Century (Paris, Maison de Balzac, April 4-May 21, 1984, no. 75). El poeta como artista (Las
Palmas, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, 4 April-21 May 1999, p. 59).
Bibliography: LASTER (Arnaud), Victor Hugo (Belfond, 1984, p. 6). FAUCHEREAU (Serge), Paintings and drawings of writers (Belfond, 1991, p. 47), Drawings of writers (Chêne, 2003, p. 15).
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