Abstract

At first glance, Anatole France's Le Lys rouge (1894) is a straightforward love story capitalizing on a fin-de-siècle vogue for medieval Italian art. Closer study, however, reveals a mordant satire of contemporaries' aesthetic pronouncements. A regular guest on the salon circuit, France was a privileged witness to contemporary taste and a powerful arbiter of aesthetic trends. Although Le Lys rouge is a work of fiction, his careful descriptions of fin-de-siècle taste and his sly references to real-life writers, artists, and collectors influenced his readers, while providing twenty-first century scholars with a valuable appreciation of late nineteenth-century French attitudes to art.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1536-0172
Print ISSN
0146-7891
Pages
pp. 641-652
Launched on MUSE
2007-06-05
Open Access
No
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