Saturday, 30 May 2015

The Virgin and the Inkpot of Proust

Madonna and the Five Angels, by Botticelli, c1480

And sometimes in the evening, when she was tired, he would quietly draw my attention to the way in which she was giving, quite unconsciously, to her pensive hands the uncontrolled, almost distraught movement of the Virgin who dips her pen into the inkpot that the angel holds out to her, before writing upon the sacred page on which is already traced the word "Magnificat." But he added: "Whatever you do, don't say anything about it to her; if she knew she was doing it, she would change her pose at once."

Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time, vol. II.: Within a Budding Grove, p.224.

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