Manetʼs Illustrations for Poeʼs "The Raven"

Artist Édouard Manet collaborated with poet Stéphane Mallarmé on an illustrated edition of the poet’s translation of Edgar Allan Poeʼs “The Raven” in 1874 and 1875. The poet, the artist, as well as the publisher, Richard Lesclide, conceived this as an elegantly produced book, printed on a choice of two papers (Holland and china), complete with bookplate (ex libris), illustrated cover, and slipcover on parchment. With bold and spontaneous brushstrokes, Manet imaginatively interpreted specific passages in the text. Whether it was the sketchiness of Manetʼs illustrations, or Mallarméʼs then still modest reputation, the publication was not a commercial success. However, Samuel Putnam Avery, whose gift of this and nearly 18,000 prints established The New York Public Library’s Print Collection in 1900, was an avid bibliophile (and like many book collectors, he became an equally avid print collector) and owned two copies, one on Holland paper and one on china. One of these copies had been purchased from the estate of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.


Edgar Allan Poe. Le corbeau. The Raven. French translation by Stéphane Mallarmé, with illustrations by Édouard Manet. Brush-and-ink transfer relief plate or transfer lithography. Paris: Richard Lesclide, 1875.
The New York Public Library, The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, Print Collection, S.P. Avery Collection.


More Images from Manet’s Illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe's Le corbeau

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