The photos that could have been, but never were...

I just re-found this extraordinary artist's portfolio of photographs of Proust (the dozen we know so well) ensconced in well-known Proustian hangouts.


Blog links updated. Been putting that one off. Thanks, MS, for the hint!


Sodom and Gomorrah IV p 91-95

Manet, 1867
p 91 | The Grand Prix de Paris was a horse race run at Longchamp Racecourse (built 1857) in July. Still running.

p 92 | Mme Alphonse de Rothschild: (wiki). In 1857 Alphonse de Rothschild married a cousin, Leonora "Laure" de Rothschild (1837–1911), the daughter of Lionel de Rothschild (1808–1879) of the English branch of the family. They had four children.

p 92 | Baron Hirsch= Maurice de Hirsch de Gereuth (1831-96), Jewish banker & philanthropist.

p 92 | Charles-Ferdinand, Duc de Berry (1778-1820). He is reported by historians to have been temperamental, moody, selfish & extraordinarily ugly. For several years, he lived with (or married) an English woman named Amy Brown, and they had two daughters. (Some claim there was an official marriage that was annulled by the Pope when the Bourbons returned to power. However, no documentation has been produced to support this.)

The Duc de Berry was assassinated in 1820; a deathbed act was to legitimize his two daughters by Amy Brown and they were adopted by his royal wife. Both daughters later received titles from the Duc the Berry's father--King Charles X.

Two of the Duc's other mistresses were: Eugénie Virginie Oreille (1795–1875): had 2 sons: Charles Louis Auguste Oreille de Carrière (1815–58), who in turn fathered a son Charles (born in 1842), a lyric artist, married but without issue; and Ferdinand Oreille de Carrière (1820-76), who died unmarried.

With Marie Sophie de La Roche (1795–1883), there were 2 sons: Ferdinand de La Roche (1817–1908) and Charles de La Roche (1820-1901). None of these seem like Swann, or even like Swann's grandmother.

p 93 | "..where Monaldeschi was murdered...": (wiki) With the cession to the Papal States of Torre Alfina in 1664, the Monaldeschi ceased to play a part in the politics of Central Italy, though the marchese Gian Rinaldo Monaldeschi was reputed to be the lover of Christina of Sweden. When she discovered that Monaldeschi had betrayed her, she had him assassinated 10 November 1657, at Fontainebleau, where the she was staying. Her version is here.

p 94 | panem et circenses ("bread and circuses"): a political strategy formed by Juvenal to govern/control the Roman masses.

p 94 | pediment: the triangular upper part of the front of a building in classical, neoclassical, and baroque style, typically above a portico of columns. May have relief sculptures.

p 94 | caryatids: Supporting columns sculpted in the form of  draped female figures.

p 95 | Queen of Spain: did Proust mean Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (reigned 1906-31), a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria of England?


Sodom and Gomorrah IV p 78-90

p 78 | "Monsieur" [Philippe I, Duc d’Orléans, brother of Louis XIV, 1640–1701]. From Wikipedia:" During the reign of his brother he was known simply as Monsieur, the traditional style at the court of France for the younger brother of the king. Unabashedly effeminate and preferentially homosexual, he nonetheless fulfilled his dynastic duty by marrying twice and begetting several children.  

p 79 | ..."my little Coburgs..."= The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

p 82 | Standish, Hélène (1847-1933). Proust met her (née Hélene de Prusse des Cars) for the first time in 1912. The Doudeauvilles were a branch of the La Rochefoucauld family, hence highly aristocratic. (Sturrock notes)

p 83 | Tiepolo red... ; collar of rubies
ruby collar

by Tiepolo
p 83 | viaticum :: the Catholic Eucharist given to a person in danger of death as part of the last rites; literally, "provisions for a journey."

p 86 | School of Political Sciences (École Libre des Sciences Politiques): Ecole des Sciences Politiques: a private institution, founded in 1871, to teach law. economics, and history, which quickly came to specialize in training future senior civil servants. It was nationalized in 1945 as the Institut des Etudes Politiques. (Sturrock notes)

p 87 | Desert Fathers=Christian hermits, ascetics, and monks who lived mainly in the Scetes desert of Egypt starting around 3rd century C.E.

p 87 | Racine's famous tragedies, Athalie and EstherNeither of the two tragedies has a homosexual theme; the "race" Racine is concerned with in both plays is the Jews. The quotations are from Esther, as modified by Proust. (Sturrock notes)

p 87 | Temple at Jerusalem; throne-room at Susa. In 1912, the Comtesse Blanche de Clermont-Tonnerre gave a famous "Persian" party, the decor of which reproduced that of the walls of the recently discovered throne room in the ancient palace of Suze, in Tunisia. (Sturrock notes)

p 89 | Proust and Racine

p 89 |  Gabriele D'Annunzio (Italian writer, 1863-1938), with a reputation as a womanizer.

p 90 | Alexander Pavlovich Isvolsky (1856-1919), Russian ambassador in Paris (1910-17), involved in Anglo-Russian Alliance.

p 90  Ibsen died in 1906, and his appearance contemporary with Isvolsky is implausible. (Sturrock notes)

p 90 | Le Gaulois (French daily newspaper); founded 1868, was famous before 1914 for its social coverage, which took readers away from Le Figaro—the paper it merged with in 1928. (Sturrock notes)


Sodom and Gomorrah IV p 70-77

p 70 | ..."the supple form of a winged victory."  Whist card game.

p 71 | ... "Harmony in Black and White" by Whistler ; Maltese cross

p 72 | ... "tilting at windmills"= attacking imaginary enemies

p 73 |  Nuncio (also papal nuncio)= an ecclesiastical diplomat (like an ambassador), a representative of the Holy See to a state; usually an archbishop. Duc d'Aiguillon (but which one?)

p 76 | Hubert Robert (1733-1808), French painter of ruins &  views & landscapes & fountains. See some works here, a bit of erotic symbolism here

p 77 | Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia (1847–1909), the second son of Tsar Alexander II; he spent long periods in Paris with his wife, Maria Pavlovna, who appears in the final volume of the novel (Sturrock notes).

Sodom and Gomorrah IV p 55-66

p 55 | A French cour d'assises or Assize Court is a criminal trial court with limited jurisdiction to hear cases involving defendants accused of major felonies or indictable offences, or crimes in French, and one of the few to be decided by jury trial.

p 56 | Hyperthermia is overheating of the body.Heat stroke (or sun stroke) is a form of hyperthermia. Sudation = sweating.

p 58 | The Quai d’Orsay is part of the left bank of the Seine, as well as the name of the street along it. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located there and is often called the "Quai d'Orsay."

p 59 | La Presse was founded in 1836 by Émile de Girardin as a popular conservative enterprise. While other papers depended heavily on subscription & close party affiliation, La Presse was sold by street vendors. Street-arabs are homeless children who survive by begging and stealing; urchins. Jacobin: During the French Revolution, a supporter of left-wing revolutionary opinions.

p 61 | Bourbonesque refers to the House of Bourbon, a European royal house (family) of French origin.

p 62 | Bernhard von Bülow (1849–1929), was a German statesman who served as Chancellor of the German Empire (1900-09) and married an Italian, Maria Beccadelli di Bologna, Marchesa di Altavilla, Principessa di Camporeale (1848-1929). Pincio: hill terrace in Rome.

p 62 | ..."eminent French diplomat... John Sturrock 518 writes that this is Maurice Paléologue  (1859–1944), a French diplomat, historian, and essayist. Elizabeth Charlotte, Duchess of Orléans (Princess Palatine) was described as stolid and mannish, with the stamina to hunt all day. She walked too rapidly for most courtiers to keep up, save the king.

p 66 | References to Act 2 of Wagner's opera Tannhäuser.

Dresden china plates