Project Gutenberg · 58, free ebooks · by Honoré de Balzac. The Unknown Masterpiece by Honoré de Balzac. No cover available. The Unknown Masterpiece. [Le Chef-d’oeuvre inconnu]. Honoré de Balzac. Translated by Ellen Marriage. First published in This web edition published by. THE UNKNOWN MASTERPIECE (Gillette)by Honoré de Balzac, Given the sprawling abundance of La Comédie humaine, one does not immediately think.

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View all 4 comments. It is about the relationship of the painter and his representation, or to be more specific, about him and his female sitter.

Racchiudete in esso tutto quello che avete trovato; cosa rappresenta quella cosa per voi? It is why Plato was afraid of art, and drove artists from his Republic. Ve lo diranno Poussin e Porbus.

The Unknown Masterpiece, by Honoré de Balzac

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. Paperbackpages.

The masterpiece at the center is a teasing device used by Balzac to play with the idea of perception, and to ultimately question the many interpretations of the “ideal” an artist aspires to. When Poussin returns to his lodgings, it is to Gillette that he returns.

It is about ynknown else. I am halzac trained to read French, but I really enjoyed Richard Howard’s translation. A four hour film was made out of this little book. Poussin goes home to try to persuade his mistress, Gillette, to sit for Frenhofer, upsetting her because she thinks he wouldn’t ask her to do this if he loved her. This volume actually contains two stories – The Unknown Masterpiece and Gambara. You are commenting using your Twitter account.


He seeks the perfect model whom he can render perfectly. It is a real coup that Balzac carries off when he has the aging artist show off his masterwork to, in effect, confusion and rejection. From Balzac’s description it’s a work of abstract art painted in the 17th century, but to Frenhofer’s chagrin remember, he’s been working on this for 10 years! To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

When we take the form of life and reproduce it on masterpiec page, or in sculpture, it becomes reduced and limited by the medium, losing its vitality and becoming corpselike.

The youth who, short of cash but long on talent, thf to tremble upon first encountering a master, must always lack at least one heartstring, some sensitivity in his brushstroke, a certain poetic expressiveness. 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.

Due to his keen observation of fine detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature.

The wealthy Frenhofer is himself a painter and has been working for 10 years on a picture of Catherine Lescault, who is identified in the early versions of the story nonore a courtesan, reworking and revising the painting constantly. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. When he visits the studio mastepiece the next day, he is told that the old master died during the night.

Ora unite queste due componenti, fondete essenza e essenza.


The Unknown Masterpiece by Honoré de Balzac

Remember, artists aren’t mere imitators, they’re poets! He is said to have effectively bought from his master Mabuse the secret of giving to his figures an extraordinarily lifelike quality, but he does not allow anyone to see his work. Could we ever completely know such art? After the dinner, Poussin returns home and tries to convince his mistress Gillette to pose nude for Frenhofer. In Chapter 2, Poussin and Porbus visit Frenhofer’s home where he is complaining that it is Catherine’s fault that some details of his picture are wrong.

The beautiful Gillette, the loving mistress of Poussin. A tragic tale about perfection and destruction, and the danger in pursuing the former too far. 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.

The Unknown Masterpiece

As soon as he sees Gillette, Frenhofer is rapt and Poussin suddenly feels anxious about his mistress in Frenhofer’s hands. Oct 12, Ben rated it it was amazing Shelves: Les fruits de l’amour passent vite, bslzac de l’art sont immortels.

Form is, in his figures, what it is in ourselves, an interpreter for the communication of ideas and sensations, an exhaustless source of mastrpiece inspiration. They stood stock-still with admiration before this fragment which had escaped from an incredible, slow and advancing destruction.