Victor Hugo


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Do you own a work by Victor Hugo and would you like to know more about its value? Our Experts will carry out a free appraisal of your drawing, to provide you with an estimate of the market price, then assist you to sell at the best price.

Status, price and estimate by the writer Victor Hugo

Price of a drawing and watercolour: 4,000 – 120,000 €.

If you would like to have a drawing signed by Victor Hugo appraised or to have an author’s manuscript appraised, our experts are at your disposal via our free appraisal form.

Writing as a vocation

Victor Marie Hugo was a French writer, poet and cartoonist born in Besançon on 26 February 1602. He died in Paris on 22 May 1885.

The son of a general in the Napoleonic army, Victor Hugo travelled a lot from a very young age. He grew up in France and Italy, but also in Madrid, where he went to school. Later he became a student at the École Polytechnique de Paris.

From a very young age, Victor Hugo’s literary talent was recognised: he won the prize of the Toulouse Floral Games Academy three times, even before publishing his first volume at the age of 20.

A therapeutic graphic work of art

In addition to his literary talents, Victor Hugo was known for his drawings, a passion he had from childhood. Initially intended for the intimate circle, ranging from everyday life to caricatures, his graphic works grew more and more important.

As early as the 1830s, the artist was regularly filling his notebooks during his travels and produced numerous architectural and landscape views.

In the 1840s, the liberation of the Rhine and the tragic death of his eldest daughter Leopoldine made his drawings more personal, more visionary. From then on, graphic activity took over from literary activity, which was sometimes too time-consuming when Hugo occupied an important place in the politics of the time.

Victor Hugo – a visionary

Hugo’s drawings attest to his technical prowess and inventions: the artist mixed inks, paint, charcoal and sometimes even coffee to sometimes draw, sometimes paint, and sometimes scrape the material. This rich technique, which he often worked with ink blotting or an almost automatic gesture, gave his drawings a modernity that fascinated the Surrealists.

A prolific artist, Victor Hugo did over 4000 drawings during his lifetime. Most of his works are characterised by shades of black and white, by the desire to represent the chaos of natural elements mixing reality and dream. Among the most famous are Le Burg à la Croix, now kept at the Maison Victor Hugo, in Paris, or Burg, souvenir du Neckar was sold for 79,500 euros by Christie’s (Christie’s, Paris, 1st April 2016).

One of the artist’s record sales as by Christie’s on 4 April 2012 where Vivez Mourrez sold for 277,000 euros and Souvenir de Belgique sold for 409,000 euros.

Hugo continued to draw throughout his life, his production increasing even during his exile. He died in Paris on 22 May 1885 at the age of 83.

Recognising Victor Hugo’s signature

Like many artists, Victor Hugo did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of a signature in order to give you a first idea. Variations of this signature exist: do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to authenticate a signature in a formal way.

expertise signature victor hugo

Appraising and selling a manuscript by Victor Hugo

If you own a manuscript or any other drawing by Victor Hugo, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your manuscript. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.