Richard Howard and Honoré de Balzac Writing Styles in The Unknown Masterpiece

Richard Howard and Honoré de Balzac
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Point of View

Honore de Balzac tells his story “The Unknown Masterpiece” from a third-person omniscient reflective narrative from the point of view of an unknown individual, one who is nevertheless familiar with the events described. The story is dedicated in 1845 (even though it originally appeared in 1831) and even though the events of the book take place in 1612–more than two hundred years before they are recorded.

The narrator assumes a bird’s eye view of events, able to tell readers what goes on at every moment in the story from Nicolas’s home to Porbus’s attempting to offer Nicola’s trade of Gillette for a glimpse of the painting to Frenhofer. Readers are thus able to see each character, fully formed and self-motivated to their own ends (thus fully rendering the approaches of the different artists to art, life, and love), as well as to have...

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This section contains 575 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Unknown Masterpiece Study Guide
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