Saturday, December 19, 2020

The little phrase on the move

At the Verdurins’, a pianist plays for Charles Swann and Odette de Crécy “the little phrase“ from Vinteuil’s sonata for violin and piano "that was like the anthem of their love.“

Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way, trans. Lydia Davis (New York: Viking, 2002).

I like the description of music in painterly terms. Eric Karpeles pairs this passage with the painting Mother Lacing Her Bodice Against a Cradle. Here is a detail.

[Pieter de Hooch, detail from Mother Lacing Her Bodice Against a Cradle (1670). Click for a larger view.]

Not long ago Elaine and I were talking about de Hooch’s Courtyard with an Arbour. We believe we’ve seen it, but where? The Met? In The Age of Rembrandt? But that exhibition was Met holdings only, and Courtyard with an Arbour is in a private collection. Besides, we wouldn’t have been in Mew York when that exhibition ran. I suspect that we looked up the painting after reading about it — somewhere. In which case, we’ve seen not the painting but a reproduction.

Related reading
All OCA Proust posts (Pinboard)

[Eric Karpeles’s Paintings in Proust (London: Thames & Hudson, 2008) is a helpful book to have on hand.]

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