The more robust Poe is captured in a small watercolor by A.C. Smith, one of just three surviving portraits of the author, which will be shown publicly for the first time Saturday and is expected to fetch tens of thousands of dollars at auction.
Poe sits at a desk with pen and paper in hand, seemingly at the height of his creative powers. His upper lip is clean-shaven, though he sports long, bushy sideburns. And there’s the slightest hint of a smile on his face.
“It actually represents Poe as he appeared to his contemporaries — a handsome, sophisticated young man on the rise,” said Cliff Krainik, the owner of the portrait and a Poe scholar. “The daguerreotypes show him in his rather dissipated state, where he has gone through the difficulties of his life.”
Today, by the way, is Poe’s birthday. He was born in 1809, two years to the day after some other Virginian you might have heard of: Robert E. Lee.
PREVIOUSLY: The man in this picture is not Edgar Allan Poe.
IMAGE: A portrait of Edgar Allan Poe released Monday, Jan. 18, 2010, by via Cliff Krainik is seen. The small watercolor by A.C. Smith shows Poe sitting at desk with pen and paper in hand. His famous mustache is missing, and there’s the slightest hint of a smile on his face. The portrait will be unveiled Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010, to the public in Baltimore as part of Poe’s birthday celebration. Krainik, plans to sell the portrait at auction later this year. Auctioneer Wes Cowan expects it to sell for $30,000 to $50,000—and he says that’s a conservative estimate.