Edgar Allan Poe is often portrayed like the mad narrator of his short story The Tell-Tale Heart—a pallid complexion, dark sunken eyes, and an unruly mop of hair contradicting his tiny trim moustache. But a newly discovered watercolor by A.C. Smith captures a different Poe, looking far more vivacious and far less macabre than usual. It’s one of three surviving portraits of the acclaimed author and will be on display for the first time on Saturday before it’s auctioned for an estimated $50,000. In the Smith work, Poe sits at his desk, pen and paper in hand, sporting sideburns instead of his usual sinister ‘stache, which seemingly reveals a bit of a smile. “It actually represents Poe as he appeared to his contemporaries—a handsome, sophisticated young man on the rise,” said the painting’s owner Cliff Krainik, who only paid a few dollars for his prized position. It’s estimated that Poe posed for the watercolor five or six years before his death, leaving behind a collection of work to be revered for centuries to come. “It’s an exceptional image,” confirms Wes Cowan of Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati, where the rare portrait showing Poe at work will go on sale in June.