Bruxelles 1868 – Paris 1925
Portrait of the Poet Pierre Louÿs
Pencil, pen and brown ink.
Stamp G.V.H. lower right. Inscribed Pierre Louÿs malade with pencil.
177 x 105 mm – 6 15/16 x 4 1/8 in.
The son of Charles Hugo, Georges Victor-Hugo lost his father at the age of three and was raised with his sister Jeanne in Hauteville House, Guernesey, by their famous grandfather Victor Hugo, an experience which inspired his book The Art of being a grandfather. A sailor in the navy, Georges served during World War One. In the trenches, he drew with whatever he could find, tobacco juice, wine, diluted chalk, coffee, thereby imitating, perhaps out of necessity more than intentionally, a technique already used by Victor Hugo himself.
His works were exhibited in 1917 in the Musée des arts décoratifs. He has authored several portraits of Victor Hugo and Adèle Foucher, nowadays in Victor Hugo’s house in Paris, place des Vosges.
Pierre Louÿs (1870 – 1925), a poet and novel writer close to the Parnassiens and the symbolist artists, decadent, refined, and depressed, was also the author of several literary mystifications. He married the youngest of Jose Maria de Heredia’s three daughters, after having entertained a romantic relationship with the second. He died broke, paralyzed, and partially blind. It is probably at the end of his life that Georges Victor-Hugo drew his portrait in a drawing album, as can be seen from the indented left edge of the sheet.
Condition report – Good condition. Lower right corner slightly torn, paper slightly worn down on the lower edge. Fixing tape on the verso. On the verso, the sheet is slightly worn down in the four corners (because of former mounting).