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The Pinnacle of Dreams, a Surrealist Look at Victor Hugo

From 17 October 2013 to 16 February 2014

An author impacts an art movement

The Maison de Victor Hugo, the former residence of the famous author which has now been turned into a museum, reveals an interesting exhibit this fall called 'La Cime du Rêve' ('The Pinnacle of Dreams'). The exhibit focuses on the relationship between Victor Hugo and the surrealist movement, a unique perspective that the museum attempts to present through roughly 50 of the author's own drawings.

The Maison de Victor Hugo therefore depicts its former resident as a forerunner to surrealism by juxtaposing his drawings with the works of major artists from the surrealist movement, like Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, Brassai and Marcel Jean.

In the way, the exhibit seeks the points of intersection between Hugo's vision and the vision of these well-known surrealists, whether or not these artists have specifically cited Hugo as a source of inspiration. Both in his literary usage of plays on words and rhyme as well as his visual contributions, Hugo is known for his avant-garde techniques that pushed the boundaries of his time.

From an artistic standpoint, Hugo's experiments with frottage, engraving, staining, scratching and stenciling were taken up by many surrealists who advanced these techniques. As a result, seeing the works side-by-side makes for an interesting exploration of the impact of Hugo's influence on one of the most intriguing art movements in history.