Louis VI (1081-1137), called the Fat (French: le Gros), was King of the Franks from 1108 until his death.
p 717 | Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques (Academy of Moral and Political Sciences) is a French learned society, one of the five academies of the Institut de France. The académie was founded in 1795, suppressed in 1803, and reestablished in 1832 through the appeal of Guizot to King Louis Philippe. Its annual meeting is held in December.
p 717 | Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm II or William II (1859–1941) was the last German Emperor & King of Prussia from 1888 to 1918. Eldest grandson of Queen Victoria, related to many monarchs and princes of Europe, notably first cousins King George V of the U.K., founder of the House of Windsor, Marie of Romania, Queen consort of Romania and the Czarina Alix of Hesse, consort of his second cousin Tsar Nicholas II of the House of Romanov, the last ruler of the Russian Empire before the Russian Revolution of 1917 which deposed the monarchy.
Franz Hals the Elder (c. 1582–1666) was a Dutch Golden Age painter born in the Southern Netherlands (present-day Belgium)
p 718 | View of Delft by Vermeer: "Despite the unusualness of this exterior scene within Vermeer's production, it has, for many modern viewers, come to stand for Vermeer himself. When Marcel Proust needed an image for artistic perfection he chose the patch of yellow that, in Vermeer's curious vision, wedges a splendid sun-drenched roof between shaded walls. How could the View of Delft become an epitome of artistry in western culture? Some answers to this question tell us more about the novel and self-aware character of Vermeer's art, which is so central to the continuing appeal of his interior painting."
p 719 | Pinchbeck is a form of brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, mixed in proportions so that it closely resembles gold in appearance.... over the years it came to mean a cheap and tawdry imitation of gold.
p 719 | Don John of Austria (1547–78) was an illegitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He became a military leader in the service of his half-brother, Philip of Spain and is best known for his naval victory at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 against the Ottoman Empire.
|by Titian, c 1534|
p 720 | Andrea Mantegna (Italian painter, c. 1430–1506).
p 720 | Georges Lafenestre (1837–1919): Curator at the Louvre; professor of art history; art critic; poet.
p 720 | Aloes: a genus containing over 500 species of flowering succulent plants. Manchineel is a tree reaching up to 15 meters high with a grayish bark, shiny green leaves and spikes of small greenish flowers. Its fruits, similar in appearance to an apple, are greenish when ripe. The current name manzanilla de la muerte means "little apple of death," since manchineel is one of the most poisonous trees in the world.
p 720 | Voltaire: (François-Marie Arouet, 1694–1778), French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a versatile writer, with works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters & more than 2,000 books & pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.
The Mérope, a work of his ripest years, was intended as a perfect revival of Greek tragedy. The passionate love of a mother, who, in dread of losing her only treasure, and threatened with cruel oppression, still supports her trials with heroic constancy, and at last triumphs over them. How much he has borrowed from Maffei, and changed has been already pointed out.
Alzire appeared on the stage in 1736 to great acclaim. Alzire is set in Lima, Peru, at the time of the Spanish conquest. Don Gusman, a Spanish grandee, has just succeeded his father, Don Alvarez, in the Governorship of Peru. The rule of Don Alvarez had been beneficent and just; he had tried to soften the cruelty of his countrymen, and his last wish was to see his son carry on his work. Unfortunately, the son's temperament was the opposite of his father's; he was tyrannical and harsh. In vain, Don Alvarez reminds his son that the true Christian returns good for evil, and as a result tragedy ensues.p 720 | enfeoff - put in possession of land in exchange for a pledge of service, in feudal society; "He enfeoffed his son-in-law with a large estate in Scotland." 1. (Law) property law to invest (a person) with possession of a freehold estate in land. 2. (in feudal society) to take (someone) into vassalage by giving a fee or fief in return for certain services.
p 721 | Grand Duke of Hesse: could be Louis IV? His brother would have been Aynard de Marsantes, father of Robert de Saint-Loup.
p 721 | Princesse de Sagan ? Proust was friends with Radziwill & Castellane, so using their names here may have been an in joke.