It’s February 26, Victor Hugo’s Birthday

It’s Victor Hugo’s birthday, Born on this day in 1802!

Everyone knows about Victor Hugo as an author what with Les Misérables & the Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Notre-Dame de Paris in the original Frenchand all that, but what a lot of people don’t know is that he was also quite an accomplished artist. The great Romantic artist Delacroix himself once wrote in a letter to Victor Hugo that if Hugo had decided to devote himself to art instead of writing, he would have become one of the greatest artists of the century.

Check this 1892 edition of “L’art et l’idée” from to see some of Hugo’s moody & evocative drawings:

Victor Hugo Drawings


An interesting thing to note about the reproductions of Hugo’s work here is that some of them were héliogravure, an early method of photographic reproduction of artworks for print. Pretty impressive that this technique was in use in the 19th century!

If you are interested in buying a book about Hugo’s drawings, Shadows of a Hand: The Drawings of Victor Hugo  is a good choice, as is Victor Hugo and the Romantic Vision : Drawings and Watercolors .