January 2019
More than 3300 letters are published on the website ropslettres at the beginning of this New Year, 2019. You can find several letters from Félicien Rops to his son Paul, a few to the writer Paul Verlaine, to the Goncourt brothers and to other recipients. We are finalising the publication of the letters of Rops (classified by the museum). New challenges are waiting for us for the site ropslettres!

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.