Cornaz Louise – Madame Recamier
Cornaz Louise – Madame Recamier (under the pseudonym of Joseph Autier): “She was, so to speak, one of the curiosities of the capital; we went to see her a little as we went to visit the Louvre or the Pantheon. “His salon was a rendezvous of famous people, a kind of crossroads of nations where intertwined, without clashing, ranks, races and opinions”
Juliette Récamier, known as Madame Récamier, born in 1777, married a rich banker at the age of 15, and held a salon in Paris as early as 1797. A friend of Madame de Staël met at Coppet Castle, she suffered the same fate as her, an exile of three years away from Paris ordered by Napoleon. But in 1814, she resumed her worldly meetings and for more than twenty years, her receptions gather around her the brightest minds of the time: Chateaubriand, Benjamin Constant, but also Tocqueville, Lamartine, Sainte-Beuve, Balzac, and many artists. Madame Recamier was beautiful and intelligent, but her charm had an effect on everyone, especially because of her kindness, dedication and serenity. She was “a serene light illuminating a stormy picture,” said Chateaubriand in her Memoirs. She will remain known in history as the source of inspiration for artists of her time.
The biography written by Louise Cornaz is not a linear and exhaustive biography. In a fluid and rather sparse style, she quickly sketches the outlines of her career, sometimes in a slightly watered down way, then attempts to describe more precisely the friendships and loves that have marked the life of Madame Récamier: Madame de Staël, Mathieu de Montmorency, Ballanche, Jean-Jacques Ampere, and of course, Benjamin Constant and Chateaubriand.