The Unknown Masterpiece Summary
Richard Howard and Honoré de Balzac

Everything you need to understand or teach The Unknown Masterpiece by Richard Howard and Honoré de Balzac .

  • The Unknown Masterpiece Summary & Study Guide

The Unknown Masterpiece Overview

“The Unknown Masterpiece” is an 1831 short story by French novelist and playwright Honore de Balzac. In this short story, the young ambitious artist Nicolas Poussin and the established artist Francois Porbus seek to find a way to see the famous artist Frenhofer’s masterpiece, which has been ten years in the making but has never been seen by anyone. “The Unknown Masterpiece” makes important thematic arguments about the nature of art—that it must be more than about copying life, but expressing its beauty; and that one must love life as well as the art one creates.

Study Pack

The The Unknown Masterpiece Study Pack contains: