[Baudelaire (Charles)]

Lot 8
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2000 - 3000 EUR
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Result : 6 147EUR
[Baudelaire (Charles)]
Ɵ Correspondence from Madame Paul Meurice to Charles Baudelaire. Three autograph letters signed, 12 pages in-8°, 1865. Devauchelle folder. Twirling, affectionate correspondence trying to get the poet, who left for Belgium shortly before his stroke, to return to Paris, and describing Parisian artistic life around Édouard Manet with humor and realism, enriched by a study of Félicien Rops's frontispiece for Les Épaves. Three signed autograph letters [to Charles Baudelaire], one with an autograph apostille from him [1865]. Each also with an autograph apostille from Narcisse Ancelle, the poet's legal counsel and confidant. The correspondence is complete. Madame Paul Meurice, née Éléonore-Palmyre Granger (1819-1874), was the daughter of the painter Jean-Pierre Granger, Ingres' classmate at the École de Rome, a pupil of David and Regnault, and a friend of Baudelaire's father. She married Meurice in 1844, and Ingres painted her portrait on the eve of her wedding. "Grace, seriousness, an inner life, a sense of independence and dignity", according to Claude Pichois (Lettres à Baudelaire, La Baconnière, 1973, where these letters were published). After Baudelaire's return to Paris, stricken with aphasia, it was she who, together with Manet's wife, endeavored to distract the poet by playing Wagner for him on the piano, at Champfleury's suggestion. Champfleury reported to Poulet-Malassis in August 1866 that "the effect was just what I expected", with the pianist captivating the listener with her interpretation of Tannhäuser. With the exception of a few isolated letters from Madame Manet mère, Suzanne Manet and George Sand, these letters from Madame Meurice constitute the only correspondence from a woman to Baudelaire, along with those from Madame Sabatier (4 short letters about their aborted affair). Of all the letters to Baudelaire, this correspondence is one of the richest in terms of intimate complicity and information on artistic life, from Manet to Wagner, via Fantin-Latour, Bracquemond, Astruc, Commandant Lejosne, Champfleury and Saint-Victor. Manet is omnipresent. With letters from Sainte-Beuve, Mendès and Manet, this is the most important correspondence received by Baudelaire in Brussels at the end of his life. First letter: [Paris, circa January 5, 1865] Four pages on a bifeuillet, 18.6 × 12.4 cm. A few very small holes, possibly pinholes, with minor damage to a few letters. At the top of the first page, in the hand of Narcisse Ancelle: "1865 ou 1866 C'est de Mme Paul Meurice" Then, still in Ancelle's hand, on the third page, in the margin: "musicians". Perhaps the most intimate letter. It offers a valuable insight into the Parisian milieu with which Baudelaire was familiar. It responds to the greetings Baudelaire had sent on January 3. The first sentence echoes the end of the poet's letter, in which he refers to his reputation in Belgium - police officer, pederast, proofreader of infamous works, parricide and cannibal - and the "follies" to which Madame Meurice alludes. "Yes, dear Monsieur, I am writing to you, and I am doing so without embarrassment. It's not my wit that pretends to answer you, it's my usual simplicity and bonhomie. As soon as I recognized your handwriting in the address, I was overjoyed, and I'm telling you now to thank you for it. The Brussels stamp saddened me a little; you're always far away from us, but you think of me sometimes and you feel the need to prove it to me today. I smiled at first when I read your follies, then when I reread them I felt a kind of pity, but don't rebel, this pity is not at all hurtful, on the contrary. Am I mistaken? It seemed to me that you were suffering and would have liked to tell me about it. But your mistrust and pride have kept you from doing so. You must know me well enough to know that I don't always laugh and that I'm your old friend. Let's see, what are you doing in Brussels? Nothing. You're dying of boredom there, and here you're impatiently awaited. What's the thread that keeps you tied to this stupid Belgian cage? Just tell us. The little group that misses you so much would like nothing better than to help cut the thread if possible. What does it take? Is it a pass? We'll get it. Do we need the police or armed force to claim you? Once again, come back to us, we miss you. Manet, discouraged, tears up his best studies, Bracquemont [Braquemond painted a portrait of Madame Meurice in 1865] doesn't argue any more, I pound away at my piano hoping that the sounds will reach you and attract you. We play music every fortnight at my place. The wolves
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