Victor Hugo (1829) by Achille Deveria

Victor Hugo - Achille Deveria - 1829

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Artwork Information

TitleVictor Hugo
ArtistAchille Deveria
Dimensions46.6 x 33.1 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationNational Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, US

About Victor Hugo

The artwork titled “Victor Hugo” was created by artist Achille Deveria in the year 1829 through the medium of lithography. This piece is part of the Realism art movement and portrays the genre of portraiture. The dimensions of this work are 46.6 by 33.1 cm. It is currently housed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, United States.

The artwork depicts a finely detailed portrait of a man who appears to be of middle age. His attire suggests the fashion of the early 19th century, characterized by a formal coat, a high-collared shirt, and a cravat. The man’s hair is styled in the era’s prevalent fashion, and his expression seems contemplative, with a serene gaze that interacts thoughtfully with the viewer.

The mastery of Deveria’s lithographic technique is evident in the gradations of shadow and light that lend depth and texture to the subject’s clothing, facial features, and the surrounding space. The background is relatively undefined and sketch-like, causing the sharp, realistic details of the man’s visage and attire to be thrown into stark relief. The composition as a whole exudes a sense of intellect and dignity, which may underscore the subject’s social or cultural significance during that period.

A signature and the date of creation are visible at the bottom left of the portrait, authenticating the artwork and anchoring it historically. Displayed prominently at the base of the portrait is the name “VICTOR HUGO,” indicating the likely identity of the individual portrayed. This kind of portraiture was typical of the Realist movement, emphasizing the realistic representation of subjects with a focus on the details that convey their character and status.

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