Paintings in Proustby Eric Karpeles
Pub. Date: 10/27/2008
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
A captivating, colorful examination of the ways in which Proust incorporated artists and the visual arts in his work.A la recherche du temps perdu by Marcel Proust is one of the most profoundly visual works in Western literature. Not only are there frequent references to specific works of art, notably during the narrator's visits to Venice and in his evaluations of… See more details below
A captivating, colorful examination of the ways in which Proust incorporated artists and the visual arts in his work.A la recherche du temps perdu by Marcel Proust is one of the most profoundly visual works in Western literature. Not only are there frequent references to specific works of art, notably during the narrator's visits to Venice and in his evaluations of the style of the imaginary painter Elstir, but certain characters are also evoked by comparison to particular paintings. Bloch's appearance as a boy is likened to the portrait of Mohammed II by Gentile Bellini; Odette de Crécy strikes Swann by her resemblance to a figure in a Botticelli fresco. Even the lesser figure of a certain Mme. Blattin becomes the subject of Proustian mischief by being described as "exactly the portrait of Savonarola by Fra Bartolomeo." Eric Karpeles has identified and located the many paintings to which Proust makes reference; in other cases, where only a painter's name is mentioned to indicate a certain style or appearance, Karpeles has chosen a representative work to illustrate the impression that Proust sought to evoke.
With some 200 paintings beautifully reproduced in full color and texts drawn from the Moncrieff/Kilmartin/Enright translation, as well as concise commentaries on the novel's evolving story, this book is an essential addition to the libraries of Proustians everywhere. The book also includes an authoritative introduction examining the various ways in which Proust used paintings and the arts to extend his descriptive vocabulary, and a comprehensive index of artists and paintings mentioned in the novel.
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For those that want to understand the references to paintings and other art works in "In Search Of Lost Time" will be enhanced immeasurably by having this book beside you. You may even want to go and see some of the works of art after viewing this book (with the text from the book printed opposite them). The footnotes or descriptions at the end of the book are particularly helpful.
Readers of Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" will know the importance of art to the narrator and his world, so the novel is peppered with references to artists and paintings from the 13th century to the 20th century. What Eric Karpeles has done in this book is to assemble reproductions of most of the art works mentioned in the novel and show them alongside the passage of the novel where they are mentioned. Not only is this a great reference for Proust enthusiasts, it is also a very well-produced collection of reproductions of great paintings which can be appreciated by any art lover.