18 December 2010

Paintings in Proust

I just picked up Eric Karpeles' Paintings in Proust and it's as sumptuous as I was promised. A sort of catalogue raisonne of a most interesting private collection. Here is Proust himself on Antoine Watteau:

I often think with a mixture of sympathy and pity about the life of the painter Watteau, in whose work lives the painting, the allegory, the apotheosis of love and pleasure....It has been said that he was the first to have painted modern love, meaning by this, no doubt, a love of conversation, the pleasures of the table, promenading, the sadness of masquerading, fleeting water and time, all hold a higher place than pleasure itself, a sort of gilded impotence.

I do think that the book will help me see a fuller picture when I reread In Search of Lost Time (I plan to start again immediately after winning the lottery, quitting my job and lining my studio with cork).

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