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Princesse Mathilde was an aristocrat, but a wild character: her wealth was based on the theft of her jewelry from her husband (who had paid for it since her father couldn’t afford to provide her dowry). She was one of the great salonnières; it was at her Salon when she was old that Proust met several of the main characters in his In Search of Lost Time (in which she also appears). He says she once told him that if it weren’t for her uncle Napoleon she would have been selling oranges in Corsica. She was in short a free spirit—and this bust of her by Carpeaux (the artist who did the exterior sculptures on the Paris Opera) is one of the many pieces of women’s history at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Find out more on our Shady Ladies tour in Philadelphia on April 8! More info & Tickets : bit.ly/2z8h2mn


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art history Metropolitan Museum nasty women Shady Ladies

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