Constantin Guys

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Constantin Guys by Nadar

Constantin Guys, Ernest-Adolphe-Hyacinthe-Constantin, (December 3, 1802 – December 13, 1892) was a Dutch-born Crimean War correspondent, water color painter and illustrator for British and French newspapers.

Guys was born in Vlissingen. Baudelaire called him the "painter of modern life," and wrote a long essay on Guys in which he extensively praised his works, under the pseudonym "Monsieur G".[1] Robert de Montesquiou wrote a review[2] of Guys that acknowledged Baudelaire's essay, compared Guys favorably to Whistler, and emphasized his portrayal of details of women's clothing, and horse carriages.[3] His subjects were Second French Empire life. In the Dutch novel "Au pair" by W. F. Hermans, one of the main characters is fascinated by Constantin Guys. Guys died in Paris, aged 90.


  • Les Champs Élysées, 1922, Pavillon de Marsan du musée du Louvre, L'Illustration n°4123, 10/06/1922.
  • Promenade en carosse, 1863 ca., plume, encre, aquarel sur papier beige, 255 x 339 mm, Museo Cantonale d'Arte de Lugano[4]


  1. ^ Baudelaire, Charles, Le Peintre de la vie moderne, 1863.
  2. ^ "Fragments sur Constantin Guys", Le Gaulois, 18 April 1895.
  3. ^ Munhall, Edgar, Whistler and Montesquiou. The Butterfly and the Bat, The Frick Collection/Flammarion, New York, 1995, p. 128.
  4. ^ Museo Cantonale d'Arte, Lugano: Constantin Ernest Adolphe Guys

Further reading[edit]

  • Constantin Guys, 1802-1892. [Exhibition] June–July 1956. London: Marlborough Fine Art, Ltd.
  • Geffroy, Gustave (1920). Constantin Guys, l'historien du Second Empire. Paris: G.Crès.
  • Koella, Rudolf (1989). Constantin Guys. [Winterthur] : Kunstmuseum Winterthur.
  • Roger-Marx, Claude (1954). Constantin Guys, 1802-1892. Paris: Braun.
  • Smith, Karen, W. (1978). Constantin Guys. Crimean War Drawings 1854-1856. Cleveland (Ohio): Cleveland Museum of Art.