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Art and Images in Psychiatry |

Edgar Allan Poe: The Raven

James C. Harris, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008;65(8):868-869. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.65.8.868.
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In June 1875, a poster, brightly lettered in red with a black raven at its center, announced the folio edition of Stéphane Mallarmé's French translation of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven.2,3Édouard Manet designed the poster, the cover design of the book, and its ex libris (thumbnail), The Flying Raven. His 4 full-page lithographic illustrations of critical turning points in the poem that appear alongside the text are among his best-known drawings. The Ravenwas one of the first in a new genre of grand illustrated books. French writer Charles Baudelaire's translations of Poe's stories made Poe famous in France, and Mallarmé hoped to have similar success in translating Poe's poems.4Mallarmé and Manet first met in Paris in 1873 and soon became fast friends. That friendship was bolstered in 1874 when Mallarmé rose to Manet's defense after his art was criticized and rejected by the Salon jury. Thus Mallarmé became Manet's most staunch defender; they lived near one another and met almost daily.

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Édouard Manet (1832-1883), French. The Raven in Flightex libris, 1875. Brush transfer lithograph, 10¼ ×13⅜ in (26 ×34 cm). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts. Gift of W. G. Russell Allen, 32.466.1. Photograph © 2008 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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Édouard Manet (1832-1883), French. Portrait of Stéphane Mallarmé, 1876. Oil on canvas, 10⅝ × 14⅛ in (27 × 36 cm). Museé d’Orsay, Paris, France. Photo credit: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York, NY.

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Figure 1.

Édouard Manet (1832-1883), French. Under the Lamp (“Once upon a midnight dreary”), 1875. Brush transfer lithograph, 149/16 × 21⅝ in (37 × 55 cm). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of W. G. Russell Allen, 32.466.2. Photograph © 2008 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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Figure 2.

Édouard Manet (1832-1883), French. At the Window (“Open here I flung the shutter”), 1875. Brush transfer lithograph, 21⅝ × 149/16 in (55 × 37 cm). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of W. G. Russell Allen, 32.466.3. Photograph © 2008 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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Figure 3.

Édouard Manet (1832-1883), French. The Raven on the Bust (“Perched upon a bust of Pallas”), 1875. Brush transfer lithograph, 21⅝ × 149/16 in (55 × 37 cm). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of W. G. Russell Allen, 32.466.4. Photograph © 2008 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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Figure 4.

Édouard Manet (1832-1883), French. The Chair (“That shadow that lies floating on the floor”), 1875. Brush transfer lithograph, 219/16 × 1415/16 in (54.7 × 38 cm). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of W. G. Russell Allen, 32.466.5. Photograph © 2008 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Provenance/ownership history: Possibly Sarah Whitman from folio edition sent to her by Stéphane Mallarmé.

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