Lot n° 222
12000 - 15000
SARTRE Jean-Paul (1905-1980).
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT, The Sequestered of Venice, [ca. 1961]; title and 963 (mis-coded 1-964) in-4 (27 x 21 cm; edges frayed and small tears to a few leaves).
Important autograph manuscript on Tintoretto.
This manuscript corresponds to the second version of the work that Sartre wanted to devote to the Venetian painter, and which remained unfinished. He published a first chapter, under the title Le Séquestré de Venise, in November 1957 in Les Temps modernes, presented as a "fragment of a study on Tintoretto, to be published by Gallimard", collected in 1964 in Situations, IV (new edition in 2018 in Situations, V); then another fragment, Saint Georges et le dragon, in L'Arc in 1966, collected in 1972 in Situations, IX. Other fragments will appear posthumously, notably by Michel Sicard, including Saint Marc and his double of the present manuscript, in the review Obliques in 1981.
After the first version of 1957, Sartre undertook a second version of his text on Tintoret, in Antibes in 1961, according to Simone de Beauvoir: "Sartre took refuge in the work, with so much frenzy that he did not control it any more: he wrote a second version of his Tintoret without having taken the time to read again the first one".
It is to this 1961 version that the present manuscript corresponds, written in black or blue-black ink on the front of sheets of lined or squared paper. It has been paginated in green ink by Simone de Beauvoir, with errors (ff. 767- 768 and 946 do not exist, without lack of text; and there are two ff. bis: 754 and 848). The sheets are unevenly filled, sometimes reduced to a few lines; under the text which it considers satisfactory, Sartre draws a long horizontal line and crosses out the draft text which follows, then passes to another page. One can follow here closely the process of development of the reflexion and the writing.
After the existential and political Tintoretto of 1957, Sartre here further studies his painting. After the title The Sequestered of Venice inscribed in the center of the introductory leaflet, the first four leaves present a fragmentary text, remained unpublished: "When he presents us his doges, his dignitaries, Tintoretto annoys us. It must be said in his defense that these patricians did not have much fun and that nobody found them amusing. But we have our own ideas: the artist must entertain us with the boredom of others; to paint [a portrait is to unmask the model. We are not unaware that the Serenissima Republic] // old flesh, the ambiguity of a too tight smile, an elusive bitterness, to throw sometimes a glance to the posterity, [in a word, to think] // As for the humor, it is perfectly devoid of it. He painted his doge with a certain degree of professional conscience that one fixed in advance by debating the price: here [the bonnet, the purple coat the range of ermine)".
The f. 5 is entitled Introduction: "One will go of the substance and its texture, of its grain (color) to its essence (gravity) this one will show us the dissolution of the acts in gestures. It will dissolve in its turn in the objective time and we will pass from the instantaneous of the men (gestures) to the complex durations of the things (absorption of the practical time by the object) which durations involve us until the infinite forces of the space. So grain ? Gravity ? gesture ? stop of the human mvt by the time ? blossoming of the spatial durations ? space, that is to say exteriority. The forces are external to the man. Expansion of gravity. A man in a field of gravitation. The space as pure tension of exteriority generates the matter and takes it back dissolves it in light. Last step: light. "
On the ff. 6 and 7, Sartre traced an overall plan of his work, where he "puts in place the various paintings that he intends to study: first the Saint Mark delivering a slave, then the Saint George slaying the dragon (and its comparison with the work of Carpaccio), then the Crucifixion. To this path correspond themes: the miracle, gravity, gesture, time, space (exteriority), light" (M. Sicard). Then comes the text entitled Saint Mark and the double gift, with the subtitle "I. The useless precaution". The beginning shows the very personal tone of Sartre in this writing on art: "Imposed subject: the miscreants plan to torture a Christian slave, the Sky is moved. Saint Mark pricks a head in the ether, sinks steeply, and goes to break, to hundred thousand fathoms of stars, the instruments in the hands of the executioners; to show the amazement of the witnesses. The nude will be masculine, the crowd turbaned, the Saint ad libitum; number of characters: between twenty five and thirty, required dimensions: one meter sixty three on two meters fifteen. Tintoretto enters the lodge, sets to work, follows these prescriptions to the letter, and produces a scandalous monster"...
Bibliography: Michel Sicard, "
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