I had no idea that he was skilled at more than writing novels, but apparently his drawings and paintings were quite good. This one is magnificent!
It’s titled “Pieuvre avec les initiales V.H.”, so I guess it’s a kind of self-portrait. Good looking fellow. It’s a good thing I have no talent, because if I did something similar, it would be something out of a nightmare, and you’d all go mad when I showed it.
Philippe Roy says
He was skilled as a painter, the father of the french romantic poetry and a great political man.
The national tour of Les Mis uses projections of his artwork in the set design.
Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says
I think you mean Romantic poetry.
The existence of French language romantic poetry far predates Hugo.
Oh my God: Victor Hugo was Slender Man.
Well nice as I think it is, I think you’re revealing a personal tentacle bias. ;-)
Personally I’m glad you’re not trying to depict your dreams of Cthulu, the cute little octopi at the aquarium wouldn’t be so friendly-looking anymore!
PZ, an artistic self-portrait of you would drive everyone who saw it insane? That would be awesome!! Someone must write a short story on this pronto.
Wikipedia connects this image with Hugo’s novel “Toilers of the Sea” which apparently includes a battle with an octopus. Though other references describe the beast in the novel as a giant squid – maybe by confusion with Jules Verne:
Quite a few famous authors are also fantastic illustrators, they just happen to get famous for the writing, not the drawing. But I’m always awesomely surprised when another one turns up (fortunately, I already knew about Hugo – but that octopus is still gorgeous).
I don’t know if you’d really call him a fan of the octopus, though.
As Aziraphale noted “Toilers of the Sea” has a battle with an octopus, Hugo passes on the then-current folk wisdom that the suckers work like hundreds of little mouths, exsanguinating the hapless victim.
Strange beauty, eight-limbed and eight-handed,
Whence camest to dazzle our eyes?
With thy bosom bespangled and banded
With the hues of the seas and the skies?–A. C. Hilton
WMDKitty -- Survivor says
“it would be something out of a nightmare, and you’d all go mad when I showed it.”
Wait a minute, PZ — how can you be sure we’ve not gone mad already?
The tentacle just left of center curls at the top to form a recumbent P. Just above that the tentacle forms a Z complete with a slash across the diagonal. The M is formed by the two tentacles in the lower right.
Lady Mondegreen says
It would be like The King in Yellow, except with a picture instead of a play.
Hugo wrote, somewhere or other, “to be eaten alive is more than terrible; but to be drunk alive is inexpressible!” I remember the quote from Cousteau’s “The Silent World”. After encountering actual octopuses, he decided that “drunk alive” was probably a better description of the author than of the dining habits of cephalopods.