The French painter Célestin Nanteuil and the writer Victor Hugo met as young men in the early 1800s, in the studio of sculptor Jehan Duseigneur. The two became close friends and began taking trips together. It was during these trips that Hugo started to work on drawings. For him, it was a private practice. His work was kept tucked away, shared only among close friends. It was in the 1850s, during his tumultuous affair with Juliette Drouet, that he set up a real workshop, producing masterpieces from the comfort of his dining room. This rare exhibition puts these fragile works on view. They depict myths and monsters, haunted castles, and unnerving landscapes in masterful chiaroscuro. —E.C.
Maison Victor Hugo 6 Pl. des Vosges, 75004 Paris, France Get Directions »