Victor Hugo

  • Daniel Saubès Léon Bonnat
  • 1877 ? 1879 ?
  • Oil on canvas
  • MVHP P 205
  • Museum : Paris Musées

This portrait, which was exhibited at the 1879 Exhibition, offers a similar but reversed composition of the Nadar photograph. The writer is seated at a table with his elbow leaning on a book. The fortune of the painting equals that of the photograph, and both have become clichés.
The painting remained in the family until 1934 when the granddaughter of Hugo, Jeanne Negreponte, offered it to the French State (it is now in the Museum of French History at Versailles). For the museum's opening in 1903, Paul Meurice requested a copy from Léon Bonnat who gave him the one done by his pupil Daniel Saubes.