Oscar Wilde (right) and Lord Alfred Douglas
The playwright Oscar Wilde has been described as a "poseur". Thomas Hardy said of him, "His early reputation as a poseur and fop – so necessary to his notoriety – recoiled upon the scholar and gentleman (as Wilde always innately was), and even upon the artist".
Lord Alfred Douglas said of Wilde, "That he had what passed for genius nobody will, I think, nowadays dispute, though it used to be the fashion to pooh-pooh him for a mere poseur and decadent."
The painter James A. Whistler has been sometimes described as a "poseur" for his manner and personal style. It has been suggested that Whistler's genius lay partly in his ability to cultivate the role of the poseur, to "act as if he were always on stage", in order to stir interest, and cause people to wonder how such a poseur could create work that was so serious and authentic. His fame as an artist seemed to require that he present himself as a poseur.
The playwright and critic, George Bernard Shaw, has been described as a poseur; in that context Shaw is quoted as saying, "I have never pretended that G.B.S. was real ... The whole point of the creature is that he is unique, fantastic, unrepresentative, inimitable, impossible, undesirable on any large scale, utterly unlike anybody that ever existed before, hopelessly unnatural, and void of real passion."
In the ancient Greek comedy, The Clouds, the playwright Aristophanes portrays Socrates as a "poseur".