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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Lastly, at the very end of the story, along with Porbus and Poussin we encounter the masterpiece Frenhofer has spent the last ten years of his life painting. A haunting story that I didn’t quite understand but loved anyway.

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The Unknown Masterpiece by Honoré de Balzac

Indeed, such is honorf richness that no reader is ever likely to feel that he or she fully knows “The Unknown Masterpiece. Thank you to Lisa for writing about this short but profound story.

Views Read Edit View history. But it’s a mess. I must say that I hpnore enjoyed Balzac’s exploration of the idea that in art, it is not enough to simply copy reality. Read it for yourself and see I’m not the best judge of short stories since they’re really not my thing.

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

And yet, the novella is not even about these two poles in painting. He passes the test, and the two established painters willingly accept him as a party to their conversation. Gillette, forgotten during all this drama, is weeping too.


The story, which has served as an inspiration to artists as various as Cezanne, Henry James, Picasso, and New Wave director Jacques Rivette, is, in critic Bzlzac Ashton’s wor One of Honore de Balzac’s most celebrated tales, “The Unknown Masterpiece” is the story of a painter who, depending on one’s perspective, is either an abject failure or a transcendental genius–or both.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Something anyone who has written or painted or made some art would feel at unknow point, but hardly think through the way it is unknowwn here: I am not certain how read This volume actually contains two stories – The Unknown Masterpiece and Gambara.

Ve lo diranno Poussin e Porbus. Would Balzac’s characters later in life regret being “had” by art? Their disappointment drives Frenhofer to madness, and he destroys the painting and dies that night. La mission de l’art n’est pas de copier la nature, mais de l’exprimer! His willful nature caused trouble throughout his life, and frustrated his ambitions to succeed in the world of business.

An older artist sacrifices sanity. So, fun to talk about, but pretty dull reading, especially when the artists start talking about their art.

The Unknown Masterpiece

What if they end up wasting their lives for nothing? And the location is, as we can expect, Paris.

Paperbackpages. Balzac Yahoo Reading group. Lists with This Book.

There is no way to represent that search in a story. Les fruits de l’amour passent vite, ceux de l’art sont immortels.


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It is not unbelievable if you think about it. A four hour film was made out of this little book. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The Unknown Masterpiece by Honoré de Balzac « La Comedie Humaine by Balzac

That foot appeared like the torso of some Parian marble Venus rising out of the ruins of a city burned to ashes. Remember, artists aren’t mere imitators, they’re poets! Porbus is not offended but the young Poussin is, on his behalf.

November 4, at 8: What stake do they have? At the studio of Pourbus, Poussin encounters a masterpkece old man, Frenhofer, who fiercely criticizes Pourbus’s work and in the process makes extravagantly high demands of the “finished” work teh art.

Nov 20, Chris rated it liked it Shelves: A tragic tale about perfection and destruction, and the danger in pursuing the former too far. When it is finally revealed, it appears to be a dark canvas of little in the way of discernible objects except for a tiny honnore at one corner. When we reduce a breathing, three-dimensional figure to the unmoving, flat plane of the canvas, depth is inevitably lost. Modern Language Association http: