p. 27 | Eugène Fromentin (1820–76) was a French painter and writer. Madeleine is a character in his novel Dominique (1862), known for its psychological depiction of characters content with second best in life and love. In the novel, Dominique falls in love with the unattainable Madeleine, a friend’s married cousin. To overcome his disappointment, he throws himself into a Paris literary career, only to realize that his work is mediocre.
p. 27 | Charles Blanc (1813-82) was a French art critic. Paul Bins, comte de Saint-Victor (1827-81), known as Paul de Saint-Victor, was a French author and critic. Charles Sainte-Beuve (1804-69) wrote novels and poetry, but was primarily known as a French literary critic. Proust disagreed with his belief that in order to understand an artist and his work, it was necessary to understand that artist's biography and refuted it in his collection of essays Contre Sainte-Beuve ("Against Sainte-Beuve"). Philippe Burty (1830-90) was a French art critic who supported the Impressionsts, Japonism, and the revival of etching.
p. 27 | Eugène Gautier (1822-78) was a French classical violinist and composer.
p. 27 | Les Maîtres d'autrefois ("The Masters of Past Time", 1876), art criticism by Fromentin, was an influential appreciation of early Dutch & Belgian painting, including Rubens & Rembrandt. He also contextualizes the art by noting that the Dutch Golden Age painting develops shortly after Holland won its independence.
p. 28 | Francesco Lazzaro Guardi (1712–93) was an Italian painter, one of the last practitioners of the classic Venetian school of painting.
p. 28 | Miramiones: Nuns of the order of S. Genevieve, named after they combined with another order of which Mme. de Miramion was the founder in 1665, for education & nursing (A Glossary of Ecclesiastical Terms, ed. Shipley).
p. 28 | Little Dunkirk, a retail shop near the Pont-Neuf that sold "... French and foreign merchandise..." (Birnie, An Economic History of Europe, 1760-1930)
p. 28 | Gabriel de Saint-Aubin (1724-80) was a French draftsman, printmaker, etcher and painter.
p. 29 | Fermiers Généraux (publishers): a fictitious edition, referring to the 18th-century edition of La Fontaine's Contes et nouvelles en vers, which the Goncourts admired as an unparalleled example of book production (Patterson notes). The Oyster and the Litigants by Jean de La Fontaine.
|the du Barry|
p. 30 | "...the du Barry...": Jeanne Bécu, Comtesse du Barry (1743–93) was the last mistress of Louis XV.
p. 30 | Château de Jean d'Heurs: a former abbey in Meuse where the Goncourt cousins, who kept an excellent kitchen, lived.
p. 31 | Léoville: Wine from Château Léoville Barton.
p. 31 | The brill (Scophthalmus rhombus) is a species of flatfish in the turbot family.