The Unknown Masterpiece - Part 2: Catherine Lescault Summary & Analysis

Richard Howard and Honoré de Balzac
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Summary

Three months pass. Porbus visits Frenhofer, who has exhausted himself yet again while attempting to complete his masterpiece. Porbus speaks to Frenhofer mockingly when Frenhofer says he believed he had completed the painting, only to be hung up on the details and the model. Porbus explains that Nicolas has a gorgeous, flawless young girl who would be willing to serve as a model, provided Frenhofer would let them look at the painting. Frenhofer is stunned by this. He considers his masterpiece his wife and would never dare show her off to someone. He demands to know what husband or what lover would put their beloved to such shame. The painting cannot leave the studio until it is finished, Frenhofer argues. He will not allow Nicolas to become a rival for it.

Frenhofer does go on to describe the masterpiece: it features a...

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This section contains 1,262 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Unknown Masterpiece Study Guide
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