spacer Honore de BalzacspacerErnest Hemingway Painted by his good friend and fishing companion Waldo Peirce, this likeness of Hemingway does not quite look like him, but that may have been intentional. Picking up on a critic's observation that Hemingway resembled nineteenth-century French writer Honoré de Balzac, Peirce seems to have used the Balzac image seen here as a reference point for the painting. The result was a portrait in which Hemingway appeared to be a trimmed-down version of the French writer. Doubtless Hemingway enjoyed the masquerade. Fiercely competitive, he constantly measured himself against other writers, and even if it was mainly a jest, the identification with Balzac may have had a serious ego-boosting edge to it.

Hemingway as "Kid Balzac"
Waldo Peirce (1884-1970)/ Oil on canvas, 1929
Image courtesy Ernest Hemingway Collection, John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts


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Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway