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Rouault's portrait of Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) was modeled on a death mask of the mystic poet that Rouault so admired for its preservation of Verlaine's strong features and of the inner man that he kept the cast in his studio for years.
Ambroise Vollard, who published this lithograph, was also a strong admirer of Verlaine. When Vollard turned to book publishing in 1900, his first effort was to rescue the poet's work from obscurity.
". . . Son Avocat, En Phrases Creuses, Clame Sa Totale Inconscience . . ." (Plate 19)
Georges Rouault (French, 1871-1958)