The Unknown Masterpiece Characters

Richard Howard and Honoré de Balzac
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Nicolas Poussin

Nicolas Poussin, known early on as the young man, is an up-and-coming artist who has arrived in Paris not long before the beginning of the story. Nicolas is poor but full of selfish passion. He is an artist, but is less interested in creating beauty than in making a name for himself and becoming rich in the process.

Nicolas is the lover of Gillette, whom he keeps not as a question of love but of jealousy in possessing her beauty the way he seeks to possess art–for his own appetites. Through an undescribed chance, he is given the opportunity to meet with and study with Porbus–but the meeting is derailed by Frenhofer’s arrival. Nicolas becomes obsessed with seeing Frenhofer’s unknown masterpiece to the point that he is willing to trade Gillette’s love for him for a single glimpse of the work, betraying...

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This section contains 547 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Unknown Masterpiece Study Guide
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