9 Portraits of Famous Writers

180px-Edouard_Manet_Georges_MooreThere’s just something about the mingling of artistic media that always puts a smile on my face. I’m thinking, for example, of such works as Pictures at an Exhibition (completed in 1874) by the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky, or Emile Zola’s novel The Masterpiece (1886) based loosely on the life of Paul Paul Cézanne (and if you’re into novels featuring art and artists, see this earlier Book Riot post). But above all, I just love love love paintings of famous writers because they offer alternate windows into these literary lives. Each artist approaches his/her subject with a necessarily unique perspective, and the outcome is always fascinating.

For your viewing pleasure, therefore, I present nine portraits of famous writers by (mostly) famous painters (and yes, Manet shows up a lot here- dude must have really loved the writers). I’m sure there are many more out there, so tell me about them in the comments! The more the merrier!


 Theodore Dreiser by Henry Varnum Poor (1933); source


 Gertrude Stein (1905-6) by Pablo Picasso; source


 Portrait of Emile Zola (1868) by Edouard Manet; source

Stéphane Mallarmé (1876) by Edouard Manet; source

Beatrice Hastings (1914) by Amedeo Modigliani; source

Willa Cather (1923) by Leon Bakst; source

Charles Dickens (1859) by William Powell Frith; source

Herman Melville (1870) by Joseph Eaton; source

George Moore (1879) by Edouard Manet; source

(first posted on Book Riot 2/18/14)

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