The Museum Collection

Edouard Manet Etching of Poe

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Creator: Edouard Manet
Date: ca. 1874
Format: Etching on Paper
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
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The French painter Edouard Manet (1832-1883) was a friend to the Impressionist painters and forerunner of modern painting. Although he was primarily a painter, Manet did produce a series of lithographs to illustrate Stephan Mallarme's French translation of Poe's poem "The Raven." It is unknown exactly when or why Manet produced this engraving, which did not appear in book form during the artist's lifetime, but Jean C. Harris, in her catalogue raisonne of Manet's prints, speculates Manet might have been commissioned by the French poet Charles Baudelaire in 1860 to illustrate a collection of Baudelaire's translations of Poe's works. Michael Deas (The Portraits and Daguerreotypes of Edgar Allan Poe) has proposed that the print was likely made sometime after 1874, when the steel engraving Deas considers the basis for the image was first published. In all, Manet produced three portraits of Poe--the above etching, a lithograph, and a drawing. After the artist's death in 1883, his widow allowed more impressions to be made from the original etching plate in 1890, 1894, and 1905.