Paul Verlaine

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Paul Verlaine
Self-Portrait with his Friends Valade and Mérat at the Café du Théâtre Bobino
Pen and black ink, over pencil, on wove paper.
7 7/8 x 6 1/8 inches (200 x 155 mm)
Gift of Charles Ryskamp in memory of John S. Thacher.
Lucien Goldschmidt, New York; Benjamin Sonnenberg, New York; Charles Ryskamp, Princeton, NJ.

Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twentieth Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1981-1983. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, p. 312.


Watermark: none.
In 1868 the symbolist poet Verlaine and some of his friends, including the Parnassian poets Albert Mérat (1840-1909) and Léon Valade (1841-1884), began to gather for meals, smoking, drinking, and discussion. They met at the Café du Théâtre Bobino as well as other places, and their meetings became known as "les diners vilains bons-hommes". Verlaine drew himself, Valade (who served as secretary of the group), and Mérat seated at the table while a laurel wreath hovers above their heads.

Associated names: 

Sonnenberg, Benjamin, 1901-1978, former owner.
Ryskamp, Charles, former owner.

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