The 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire is celebrated as one of the finest writers of his time, but less celebrated is the role played by his mistress Jeanne Duval. She was a strikingly beautiful black woman who was the inspiration for a number of his works and for some of the greatest painters of the period - including Manet.
A new photographic exhibition at the Scottish National portrait Gallery in Edinburgh attempts to give her a voice. The exhibition is the work of Maud Sulter, a Scots-Ghanian poet, photographer and cultural historian who is writing a biography of Duval.
As she told Helen Ross she became fascinated with her almost by accident. Jeanne Duval: A Melodrama by Maud Sulter: Scottish Ntnl Gallery Exhibition Dates: Friday 30 May 2003 - Sunday 31 August 2003 - Admission: Free Poetry readings by actor Julian Keane