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Balzac’s Unknown Masterpiece: Intellect versus Emotion

Balzac
Honore de Balzac

Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) wrote a short story The Unknown Masterpiece about an aging master artist who toils ten years on the “perfect” painting of an idealized figure of a woman he falls in love with. However, no one can see the true beauty of his beloved except him, and so he destroys all of his paintings and is found dead the next day. What is Balzac trying to convey in this allegory about the nature of true artistic genius as well as the quest for immortality?
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