Adrien Marie – Self-Portrait – Circa 1880
Self-portrait of the artist painted around 1880. The painter, with long hair and Baroque era clothes, seems to smile mockingly and we were able to confirm his identity thanks to several photographs taken by the famous photographer Nadar now housed in France’s National Library. This painting has recently been relined and restored.
Adrien Emmanuel Marie (Neuilly-sur-Seine, October 20, 1848 - Cadiz, April 29, 1891) was a French engraver, illustrator, painter and traveller. He was a pupil of François Pannemaker at the school of wood engraving in Cabasson, then of Emile Bayard (whose daughter he would later marry) for Illustration, and finally, of Isidore Pils at the School of Fine Arts.
He began his career as an illustrator with Lacroix in 1862 with Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. In 1869, at Alexandre Houssiaux, he illustrated Les Lettres de mon moulin by Alphonse Daudet and in 1874, La Fille de Carilès by Joséphine Colomb at Hachette. In 1880, he produced prints for the theatrical adaptation of Michel Strogoff.
A prolific illustrator for the French and London press, he is known to have produced numerous drawings, prints and paintings.
Adrien Marie travelled frequently both at home and abroad during his career, leaving many painted testimonials of this: examples include Giuseppe Verdi leading the opera orchestra for Aïda's first performance in Paris in 1880 or Un instant de beauté, which represents a geisha in the middle of a make-up session in Japan. He exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1866, 1881 and 1889. In 1886, he exhibited at the second International Exhibition of Blanc et Noir where he obtained the gold medal in the Drawing section.
In 1891, he decided to participate as a cartographer and illustrator on behalf of L'Illustration, to Henri-François Brosselard-Faidherbe’s mission in French Guinea, whose objective was to study the possibility of building a railroad across that country. He was accompanied by a reporter for the magazine, Félix Dubois. Having returned exhausted and sick, Brosselard and Marie died as a result of this trip, the former in Coutances on August 9, 1893 and the latter in Cadiz on April 29, 1891.
Sources: Benezit Dictionary of Artists; Wikipedia; National Library of France.
Artist: Adrien Marie (1848-1891).
Signed in the lower right corner.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: Very good condition, recently relined and restored.
Dimensions: 55.5 x 46 cm. / 21 ¾ x 18 in.
Frame: 72.5 x 64 cm. / 28 ½ x 25 ¼ in. Gilt wood, very good condition.