March 2018
More than 3000 letters are now available for consultation on the website!
Among the new publications there are letters to his good friend Léon Dommartin, aka Jean’Ardenne, to the famous Belgian writer Camille Lemonnier (enriched with notes of Roman languages and French literature student Maxime Godfrind who studied this correspondence in 2014) and to the Belgian illustrator Maurice Bonvoisin, aka Mars. A few letters of Gustave Lefebvre and Maurice Kunel are also available on our website.

Scientific publication of the correspondence of Félicien Rops

The Félicien Rops Museum (Province of Namur) and the non-profit association “Les Amis du Musée Félicien Rops” (Friends of the Félicien Rops Museum) have been working on the publication of the artist’s correspondence for over fifteen years. Almost 4,000 letters written by the artist and engraver, of outstanding quality, have so far been recorded in public and private collections. From the 19th century onwards, Rops’ correspondence enjoyed a great reputation among the artists and writers of his day, and many of them wished to see it circulated. For instance, Edgar Degas told Manet: “That one writes even better than he engraves [...]. If they ever publish his correspondence, I’ll sign up for a thousand copies of propaganda”1.

The creation of this website, with the support of the National Lottery, reveals the great literary quality of the artist’s correspondence, along with its wealth of documentary and graphic content. The publication will evolve over time. The priority for the Félicien Rops Museum (Province of Namur) is to provide transcripts of all the artist’s letters, along with digital facsimiles. The critical annotation of the content will be published subsequently as the scientific research progresses and in line with current affairs at the institution.

1 Letter from Edgar Degas to Édouard Manet. Quoted according to: Boyer d’Agen [Boye Auguste Jean known as Roig Jean de], Rops..iana, Paris, Pellet, 1924, p. 5.