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As Octave Mirbeau said "Namur by birth but a Parisian at heart". The artistic and literary elite of the time recognised in Félicien Rops an exceptional person, much more than the fashion conscious libertine that up until then had been the general consensus concerning him. Many became his friends, Rops illustrated their works or maintained enthralling correspondences with some. He was an excellent letter writer and several thousands of his letters have been preserved. Among his correspondents were :

  • Charles Decoster,
  • J. Barbey d'Aurevilly,
  • Peladan,
  • Verlaine,
  • Mallarmé,
  • the De Goncourt brothers...

There was also and perhaps most importantly Charles Baudelaire, with whom the Namur artist formed a deep friendship during Baudelaire’s time of voluntary exile in Belgium.
As Baudelaire confided in Edouard Manet:
"Rops is the one true artist that I have found in Belgium!"

* Who was Octave Mirbeau (in french).
Text: B. Bonnier, N. Malinconi, V. Carpiaux - Information
Translation: Caroline McLoughlin
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