home Rops biography 1833-1898
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Braconnier ne puis / Chassaillon ne daigne / Peintre je suis



"You have to realise that I am not a remarkable person at all, but incomprehensible even to myself. While in the cradle I was showered with gifts from many beautiful people who acted as fairies having been invited by my mother to bestow a multitude of different talents upon her son. But the forgotten fairy, the terrible twisted and bandy legged one that is always left out appeared as well. Leaning over my cot, she said  I cannot take away the gifts you have just received from these ladies, but I can give you one of my own. Your whole life long, you will never do that which you like best! "
Letter from Félicien Rops to Nadar, 1890

Aultre ne veulx estre (No desire to be otherwise)

"I know very well that I would be better off living normally, better off keeping to the straight and narrow, not to be (at the age of 30 years) as futile as Cherubino di amore for Beaumarchais (...). I know that I do not have enough respect for the law, that I am as scatterbrained as a mayfly, and as unworried as a monk, I know that I do not contribute to the good of the State but that which you do not suspect and that which will cause all serious people to faint, right up until the fifth male generation, is that I am happy and almost proud of being like this and not otherwise.... I hope that this surpasses the boundaries of decent insanity..."
Letter from Félicien Rops to Emile Leclerq, 1863


" (...) I have faith in art, and indeed a great faith. I have arrived at a stage in life that I find particularly pleasant, since having seen almost everything that needs or must be seen in order to formulate one's judgement on things, to sort out one's vision on human beings, I am neither blasé nor exhausted, nor tired. I have all my teeth, my kidneys are solid enough to carry out their functions and I have such a great love of life that it seems to me every morning as if I am reborn (...). "
Letter from Félicien Rops to Edmond Picard, 1878

To the end of my days

" (...) Each time autumn arrives with its austere intoxications, I suffer as if every hope that I carry within me and which are the same as those that illuminated my twentieth year were going to expire forever along with the dead leaves. I am afraid of being old and of no longer being able to inspire love in a woman, which is a true death for a man of my nature and with my needs for madness of mind and body."
Letter from Félicien Rops to Louise Danse

Text: B. Bonnier, N. Malinconi, V. Carpiaux - Information
Translation: Caroline McLoughlin
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