Lot n° 151
2500 - 3000
Result with fees
: 36 400EUR
PROUST Marcel (1871-1922)
Signed autograph letter addressed to Jean-Louis VAUDOYER.
S.d. May 1, 1921], 5 pages in-12 in ink on paper, envelope preserved.
This letter is contemporary to the famous analysis of the "little yellow wall" contained in Vermeer's painting at the origin of one of the key chapters of À la recherche du temps perdu, and which the recipient of this letter had just revealed to him in one of his articles. "Yesterday, I read a Ver Meer in which you had less opportunity to give yourself away, perhaps, but which touches me more than anything else. Ever since I saw the View of Delft in the Hague Museum, I knew that I had seen the most beautiful painting in the world. In On the Swann Side, I couldn't help but have Swann work on a study on Ver Meer. I didn't dare to hope that you would do such justice to this incredible master. For I know your (very true) ideas about hierarchy in Art and I feared him a little too much Chardin for you. So what a joy to read this page. And still I know almost nothing about Ver Meer. I remember having, fifteen years ago, given a letter to Vuillard so that he could go and see a copy of Ver Meer, which I don't know, at Paul Baignères. [...]».
Vermeer (which Proust wrote in the old "Ver Meer") was his favourite painter since the age of twenty, as he wrote in another letter to Jean-Louis Vaudoyer. It was also in front of this View of Delft that he felt uncomfortable, a year before his death, during the exhibition of the Dutch Painters at the Jeu de Paume in April-May 1921, in the company of Vaudoyer. Proust's discomfort made him feel more seriously, in The Prisoner, to his character Bergotte, who, coming to admire this famous "little yellow piece of wall" because an art critic (Jean-Louis Vaudoyer) in a recent chronicle had compared it to "a precious work of Chinese art, of a beauty that would suffice in itself", succumbed to a heart attack. This small symbolic yellow wall gives one of the keys to Proust's writing, which makes Bergo
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