Portrait of an Unknown Sitter as a Troubadour



c. 1870-1880
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General Description

Paul Verlaine, a poet as revolutionary as the Impressionists were as painters, is shown in a vaguely Medieval costume, as a wandering minstrel, or troubadour, but the painting is in a style quite different from academic art—strong chiaroscuro, softly defined forms, the quick brush work of the Impressionists—plus a brooding romantic quality and a sensitive realism in the rendering of the poet's features.

Adapted from

Anne Bromberg, "Looking at Art: France in the 19th Century," DMA Bulletin Summer 1986, 11-13.

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