HONORE DE BALZAC THE UNKNOWN MASTERPIECE PDF

It appeared again later in the same year under the title "Catherine Lescault, conte fantastique. Young Nicolas Poussin , as yet unknown, visits the painter Porbus in his workshop. He is accompanied by the old master Frenhofer, who comments expertly on the large tableau that Porbus has just finished. The painting is of Mary of Egypt , and while Frenhofer sings her praises, he hints that the work seems unfinished. With some slight touches of the paintbrush, Frenhofer transforms Porbus' painting such that Mary the Egyptian appears to come alive before their very eyes. Although Frenhofer has mastered his technique, he admits that he has been unable to find a suitable model for his own masterpiece, which depicts a beautiful courtesan called Catherine Lescault, known as La Belle noiseuse.

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It appeared again later in the same year under the title "Catherine Lescault, conte fantastique. Young Nicolas Poussin , as yet unknown, visits the painter Porbus in his workshop. He is accompanied by the old master Frenhofer, who comments expertly on the large tableau that Porbus has just finished.

The painting is of Mary of Egypt , and while Frenhofer sings her praises, he hints that the work seems unfinished. With some slight touches of the paintbrush, Frenhofer transforms Porbus' painting such that Mary the Egyptian appears to come alive before their very eyes.

Although Frenhofer has mastered his technique, he admits that he has been unable to find a suitable model for his own masterpiece, which depicts a beautiful courtesan called Catherine Lescault, known as La Belle noiseuse. He has been working on this future masterpiece that no one has yet seen for ten years. Poussin offers his own lover, Gillette, as a model. Gillette is so beautiful that Frenhofer is inspired to finish his project quickly. Poussin and Porbus come to admire the painting, but all they can see is part of a foot that has been lost in a swirl of colors.

Their disappointment drives Frenhofer to madness, and he destroys the painting and dies that night. Of the three artists depicted in this story, Poussin and Porbus were real artists of the 17th century. Frenhofer is a purely fictional character. In the case of Porbus, Balzac used the gallicized version of the surname of Frans Pourbus.

Picasso was fascinated by the text and identified with Frenhofer so much that he moved to the rue des Grands-Augustins in Paris where Balzac located Porbus' studio. There he painted his own masterpiece, Guernica.

Picasso lived here during World War II. Sidney Peterson 's avant-garde film Mr Frenhofer and the Minotaur was based on the link between the short story and the work of Picasso.

It draws on Picasso's Minotauromachy , bringing Picasso's work to life with the characters of Gillette, Poussin and Porbus participating. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved 11 March List of characters. Authority control BNF : cbg data. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Contribute Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. BNF : cbg data.

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The Unknown Masterpiece (Gillette) by Honoré de Balzac, 1847

Posted October 31, by Anokatony in Book Reviews. Perhaps it is in the art of painting where the issue presents itself most clearly. Before there were cameras, the rich and powerful relied on portraits to capture the images of their beloveds and families. Great artists were commissioned to create these images. But there were issues.

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The Unknown Masterpiece

I am an obsessive re-reader: since my adolescence Balzac, Tolstoy, and Proust have been my constant companions. When I want to branch out, I simply abandon the great, classical novels of my three geniuses and turn to their short stories. It is the story of a fictional 17th-century painter, Frenhofer, who spends 10 years on the portrait of a woman and ends up with what a young Nicolas Poussin, in his text, Balzac mixes fictional and historical characters describes as nothing but confused masses of color contained by a multitude of strange lines, forming a high wall of paint out of which emerges a delightful foot. Undone by the incomprehension of his colleague, Frenhofer sets fire to his studio and dies amid his whole production. The novella is open to various interpretations.

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THE UNKNOWN MASTERPIECE

On a cold December morning in the year , a young man, whose clothing was somewhat of the thinnest, was walking to and fro before a gateway in the Rue des Grands-Augustins in Paris. He went up and down the street before this house with the irresolution of a gallant who dares not venture into the presence of the mistress whom he loves for the first time, easy of access though she may be; but after a sufficiently long interval of hesitation, he at last crossed the threshold and inquired of an old woman, who was sweeping out a large room on the ground floor, whether Master Porbus was within. Receiving a reply in the affirmative, the young man went slowly up the staircase, like a gentleman but newly come to court, and doubtful as to his reception by the king. The young man felt deeply stirred by an emotion that must thrill the hearts of all great artists when, in the pride of their youth and their first love of art, they come into the presence of a master or stand before a masterpiece. For all human sentiments there is a time of early blossoming, a day of generous enthusiasm that gradually fades until nothing is left of happiness but a memory, and glory is known for a delusion. Of all these delicate and short-lived emotions, none so resemble love as the passion of a young artist for his art, as he is about to enter on the blissful martyrdom of his career of glory and disaster, of vague expectations and real disappointments.

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The Unknown Masterpiece : Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu

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