Victor Hugo was not only a gifted writer but also drew. The Leopold Museum now shows his works for the first time.
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Les Misérables" are masterpieces of the Romantic period and come from none other than Victor Hugo (1802-1885). What many people do not know is that the writer also pursued a passion for painting for decades. With his depictions of whimsical characters living on the fringes of society he paid tribute to Francisco de Goya, while his renderings of cathedrals and palaces are magical and sombre. Victor Hugo handled his painting materials with a seemingly limitless freedom: daubing with sepia, and at times using unconventional materials such as coffee dregs or dust, his approach was often quite random.
In total, Victor Hugo's oeuvre encompasses more than 4,000 drawings. The extensive exhibition in the Graphic Cabinet of the Leopold Museum shows around 80 of his works on paper. They are juxtaposed by the works of his pre-modern predecessors such as Alexander Cozens (1717-1786) and William Turner (1775-1851).
Victor Hugo. The Dark Romanticist, 17 November 2017 - 15 January 2018