Thursday, 18 December 2008

New romantics

Portrait by François Pascal Simon, Baron Gérard, 1802.

Portrait by Jacques-Louis David.

The récamier, named for the celebrated French beauty and social figure, Juliette Récamier (1777–1849), née Jeanne Françoise Julie Adelaïde Bernard. At 15 she married, in name only, Jacques Récamier, a wealthy, middle-aged banker some 30 years her senior. Her fashionable salon was, from the Consulate to the end of the July Monarchy, a gathering place for some of the most influential political and literary figures of the time. The most celebrated of her liaisons was that with Chateaubriand, to whom she devoted the latter part of her life. Mme. Récamier counted amongst her circle the very influential writer Mme de Staël and the literary critic Sainte-Beuve.

Now playing: Édouard Lalo - Symphonie Espagnole, Op. 21: III.
via FoxyTunes

1 comment:

An Aesthete's Lament said...

If I am not mistaken, I have read that Madame Récamier's husband was actually her father, and that during the Reign of Terror, when he thought he might end up a victim of the guillotine, he married her in order to ensure that she inherit his fortune. As is suggested in Lettres de Ballanche à Madame Récamier she discovered the truth on her wedding night, and the marriage remained unconsummated. But she did eventually inherit everything.