Paul Verlaine II, from Pan
37.1 cm x 27.6 cm (14 5/8 in. x 10 7/8 in.)
Anders Leonard Zorn
(Mora (Sweden), 1860 - 1920, Mora (Sweden))
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of the children of L.M. Tonkin, 1966
Verlaine was a recognized leader of Symbolism, and his blatant, extra-marital, affair with poet Arthur Rimbaud epitomized the decadent lifestyle. After their violent break-up and an eighteen-month jail sentence, Verlaine converted to Catholicism. His behavior in public, however, remained eccentric. His poetry in the 1890s was highly erotic and many of his earlier works were celebrated in new editions and anthologies. In 1894 his colleagues named him the “Prince of Poets,” two years before his death at the age of 52.