Constantin Guys

1802 (Vlissingen, Netherlands) – 1892 (Paris)

Guys’ significance may have faded, were it not for his role as the quintessential modern figure in Baudelaire’s essay ‘The Painter of Modern Life.’ But he was interestingly influential; his friends Manet and Baudelaire collected his work, Seurat treasured one piece, and Daumier (with whom he worked under Gavarni) and Delacroix both admired him. Fiercely private (he forbade Baudelaire to identify him by name, and berated Thackeray for the praise he’d printed), little is known of his life’s detail. Nadar was his most faithful friend in a circle of artists and writers; the Goncourts also knew and wrote fictionally about him.

Constantin Guys knew…