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Marcel Proust (1871-1922): Art in Swann's Way, Part 2: Swann in Love

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2022 2:15 PM

Swann's Way, Part 2: Swann in Love

View of Delft

Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), View of Delft (ca. 1660/61).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons.


"'And won’t you,' she had ventured, 'come just once and take tea with me?' He had pleaded pressure of work, an essay — which, in reality, he had abandoned years ago — on Vermeer of Delft."

Mother by de Hooch

Pieter de Hooch (1629-1684), Mother at the Cradle (1670).

Image source: Wikiart.org. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Pieter de Hooch. ArtSTOR has two images of de Hooch's Mother: 1 | 2

" ... just as in those interiors by Pieter de Hooch, where the subject is set back a long way through the narrow framework of a half-opened door ... "

Youth of Moses by Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli (ca. 1445-1510), The Youth of Moses (1481/2).

Image source: The Youth of Moses, Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).


" ... Swann was struck by her resemblance to the figure of Zipporah, Jethro’s Daughter, which is to be seen in one of the Sistine frescoes."

Zipporah by Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli (ca. 1445-1510), Detail of Zipporah, daughter of Jethro, from The Youth of Moses (1481/2).

Image source: Detail of Zipporah, daughter of Jethro, from The Youth of Moses - Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).


" ... Swann was struck by her resemblance to the figure of Zipporah, Jethro’s Daughter, which is to be seen in one of the Sistine frescoes."

Bust of the Doge by Cattaneo

Circle of Danese Cattaneo (1512-1572), Bust of the Doge Leonardo Loredan (date unknown).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Danese Cattaneo. ArtSTOR has numerous works by Cattaneo.

" ... as, for instance, in a bust of the Doge Loredan by Antonio Rizzo, the prominent cheekbones, the slanting eyebrows, in short, a speaking likeness to his own coachman Rémi ... "

Old Man by Ghirlandaio

Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494), An Old Man and His Grandson (ca. 1490).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).


" ... in the colouring of a Ghirlandaio, the nose of M. de Palancy ... "

Self-Portrait by Tintoretto

Tintoretto (1518-1594), Self-Portrait (ca. 1588).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Tintoretto. ArtSTOR has two images of Tintoretto's Self-Portrait: 1 | 2

" ... in a portrait by Tintoretto, the invasion of the plumpness of the cheek by an outcrop of whisker, the broken nose, the penetrating stare, the swollen eyelids of Dr. du Boulbon."

Studies by Watteau

Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), Studies of Women's Heads (date unknown).

Image source: Wikiart.org. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Antoine Watteau. ArtSTOR has numerous images of Watteau's sketches.

" ... like those sheets of sketches by Watteau upon which one sees, here and there, in every corner and in all directions, traced in three colours upon the buff paper, innumerable smiles."

Nighwatch by Rembrandt

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), The Night Watch (1642).

Image source: Wikiart.org. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Rembrandt. ArtSTOR has numerous images related to Rembrandt's Night Watch.

"' ... No more chance of discovering the trick than there is in the ‘Night Watch,’ or the ‘Regents,’ and it’s even bigger work than either Rembrandt or Hals ever did.'"

Regents of the Old Men's Almshouse

Frans Hals (ca.1580-1666), Regents of the Old Men's Almshouse, Haarlem (ca. 1664).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Frans Hals. ArtSTOR has three images of Hals' Regents: 1 | 2 | 3

"' ... No more chance of discovering the trick than there is in the ‘Night Watch,’ or the ‘Regents,’ and it’s even bigger work than either Rembrandt or Hals ever did.'"

Winged Victory

Unknown Hellenistic sculptor, The Winged Victory of Samothrace (ca. 2nd century BCE).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).


" ... Mme. Verdurin, who regarded the ‘Night Watch’ as the supreme masterpiece of the universe (conjointly with the ‘Ninth’ and the ‘Samothrace’) ... "

The Apparition by Moreau

Gustave Moreau (1826-1898), The Apparition (ca. 1876).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).


" ... embroidered, as in some fantasy of Gustave Moreau, with poison-dripping flowers, interwoven with precious jewels ... "

adonna of the Pomegranate

Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), Madonna of the Pomegranate (1487).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Author: Nanae. License: CC-BY-AS 4.0 International.


"She had, at that moment, their downcast, heartbroken expression, which seems ready to succumb beneath the burden of a grief too heavy to be borne, when they are merely allowing the Infant Jesus to play with a pomegranate ... "

The Map of Tendre

Madeleine de Scudéry (1607-1701) et al, The Map of Tendre (Carte de Tendre or du Tendre), from Mlle de Scudéry's novel Clélie (1654-1661).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).


"He spent his days in poring over a map of the forest of Compiègne, as though it had been that of the ‘Pays du Tendre’ ... "

Primavera by Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), Primavera (late 1470s/early 1480s).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Sandro Botticelli. ArtSTOR has numerous images related to Botticelli's Primavera.

" ... the aesthete who ransacks the extant documents of fifteenth-century Florence, so as to try to penetrate further into the soul of the Primavera, the fair Vanna or the Venus of Botticelli."

Giovanna Tornabuoni

Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), Giovanna Tornabuoni and the Three Graces (ca. 1486-1490).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Sandro Botticelli.

" ... the aesthete who ransacks the extant documents of fifteenth-century Florence, so as to try to penetrate further into the soul of the Primavera, the fair Vanna or the Venus of Botticelli."

Birth of Venus by Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), The Birth of Venus (1484/5).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).


" ... the aesthete who ransacks the extant documents of fifteenth-century Florence, so as to try to penetrate further into the soul of the Primavera, the fair Vanna or the Venus of Botticelli."

Martyrdom by Lo Spagnoletto 2

Jusepe de Ribera "Lo Spagnoletto" (1591-1652), The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew (1644).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Jusepe de Ribera. ArtSTOR has numerous works by Jusepe de Ribera.

"One of them, of a particularly ferocious aspect, and not unlike the headsman in certain Renaissance pictures which represent executions, tortures, and the like, advanced upon him with an implacable air to take his things."

St. James by Mantegna 2

Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506), St. James Led to His Execution (ca. 1455; now destroyed).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Andrea Mantegna. ArtSTOR has numerous images related to Mantegna's St. James.

" ... like that purely decorative warrior whom one sees in the most tumultuous of Mantegna’s paintings, lost in dreams, leaning upon his shield, while all around him are fighting and bloodshed and death ... "

Massacre by Brueghel 2

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530-1629), The Massacre of the Innocents (1565-1567).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Pieter Brueghel the Elder. ArtSTOR has three images of the multiple versions of Brueghel's Massacre: 1 | 2 | 3

" ... he seemed as determined to remain unconcerned in the scene, which he followed vaguely with his cruel, greenish eyes, as if it had been the Massacre of the Innocents or the Martyrdom of Saint James."

San Zeno Altarpiece by Mantegna 1

Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506), San Zeno Altarpiece, detail of central panel (ca. 1457-1460).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).


"He seemed precisely to have sprung from that vanished race — if, indeed, it ever existed, save in the reredos of San Zeno and the frescoes of the Eremitani ... "

Portrait of Elector Frederick by Dürer 2

Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Portrait of Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony (between 1485 and 1499).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Albrecht Dürer. See also ArtSTOR.

" ... fruit of the impregnation of a classical statue by some one of the Master’s Paduan models, or of Albrecht Dürer’s Saxons."

Interior of the Doge's Palace 2

Interior of the Doge's Palace, Venice, Italy, showing the Staircase of the Giants at center right, ca. 1890-1900.

Image source: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC). Public domain.


"Others again, no less colossal, were disposed upon the steps of a monumental staircase which, by their decorative presence and marmorean immobility, was made worthy to be named, like that god-crowned ascent in the Palace of the Doges, the ‘Staircase of the Giants’ ... "

The Last Communion of St. Joseph Calasanz 2

Francisco Goya (1746-1828), The Last Communion of St. Joseph Calasanz (1819).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Francisco Goya. ArtSTOR has four images of Goya's Last Communion: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

" ... a servant with a pallid countenance and a small pigtail clubbed at the back of his head, like one of Goya’s sacristans or a tabellion in an old play ... "

Perseus with the Head of Medusa

Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571), Perseus with the Head of Medusa (1545-1554).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Author: Paolo Villa. License: CC-BY-AS 4.0 International.

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Benvenuto Cellini. ArtSTOR has numerous works by Benvenuto Cellini.

"He next crossed a little hall which ... displayed to him as he entered it, like some priceless effigy by Benvenuto Cellini of an armed watchman, a young footman ... "

Tapestry after a design by Jean-Baptiste Huet 2

Tapestry after a design by Jean-Baptiste Huet (1745-1811) manufactured at Aubusson, France, around 1786.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Author: Robert Vallette. License: CC-BY-AS 4.0 International.

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Aubusson. ArtSTOR has numerous images of Aubusson tapestries.

" ... as he pierced the Aubusson tapestries that screened the door of the room in which the music was being given with his impetuous, vigilant, desperate gaze ... "

Injustice by Giotto 2

Giotto (1266-1337), Injustice (1305/6).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Giotto. ArtSTOR has two images of Giotto's Injustice: 1 | 2

" ... which recalled to Swann, a fervent admirer of Giotto’s Vices and Virtues at Padua, that Injustice by whose side a leafy bough evokes the idea of the forests that enshroud his secret lair."

Diana by Vermeer 2

Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), Diana and Her Companions (1653/4).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).

UB ONLY Grove Art Online has a historical and biographical article on Johannes Vermeer. ArtSTOR has four images related to Vermeer's Diana: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

"He was certain that a ‘Diana and Her Companions’ which had been acquired by the Mauritshuis at the Goldschmidt sale as a Nicholas Maes was in reality a Vermeer."

Young Woman by Machard

Jules Machard (1839-1900), Young Woman in an Evening Dress with Hydrangeas (1896).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).


"'I needn’t ask you, M. Swann, whether a man so much in the movement as yourself has been to the Mirlitons, to see the portrait by Machard that the whole of Paris is running after. ... '"

Musical Interlude (1874).

Alexandre-Louis Leloir (1843-1884), Musical Interlude (1874).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain in the USA (pre-1923).


"'I have another friend who insists that she’d rather have Leloir. I’m only a wretched Philistine, and I’ve no doubt Leloir has perhaps more knowledge of painting even than Machard. ... '"