Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


French Studies

Reader 1

Eric Haskell

Reader 2

France Lemoine

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© 2016 Sarah M Robertson


The esteemed French author, Marcel Proust, revolutionized the way that literature fuses with visual art. Through the detail of his novella Un Amour de Swann, Proust creates a world in which the idolatry of a painting destines one man to a life void of fulfillment in love. This thesis explores the intrinsic connection of painting and literature to love through Proust’s treatment of the Botticelli fresco, Les Épreuves de Moïse, and the carefully crafted lesson that Proust teaches to integrate art into the fabric of life. Proust’s advice reaches far beyond the constraints of his own words, and through an analysis of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, Proustian guidance is brought to a universal scale. For Proust, art truly was a way of life, this thesis seeks to embody just that.