Paintings in Proust

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $23.47
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 47%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (22) from $23.47   
  • New (11) from $25.71   
  • Used (11) from $23.47   


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.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Rochester Post-Bulletin

An indispensable companion for readers of Proust…. Precisely what’s been needed for about 90 years.

Art in America
“A visually stunning and surprisingly accessible book that brings out subtle facets of Proust’s masterpiece, as well as the artworks he cites…Karpeles comes close to encapsulating Proust’s vision…Paintings in Proust could serve effectively as either a concise preface or a meaningful afterword to the monumental novel. What’s more, it can be appreciated entirely on its own.”
Daily Telegraph
Fortunately you do not need to have read a page of Proust to appreciate this beautiful book.
Irish Times
An intelligent and passionate introduction from a painter who deeply understands Proust, a collection of sumptuous reproductions of paintings from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century, and a window into Proust's sharp, eccentric wit.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500238547
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 10/27/2008
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 386,592
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Karpeles is a painter who was educated at Haverford College,
Oxford University, and The New School. He lives in California.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 16, 2013

    Outstanding. A labor of love.

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 18, 2009

    A simple idea, beautifully produced

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)