Today we'll take a look at the great French society leader, salonier, beauty, and patron of arts (not to mention cover subject for many a historical novel!), Juliette Recamier, who died May 11, 1849.
The marriage was never consumated, but Juliette kept herself busy with a popular salon that was crowded with artistic and political stars of the day. Her health was never very good, so she often reclined on the low sofa now called a "recamier" in her honor, but that didn't stop the conversation. She had a long romance with Francois-Rene Chateaubriand, the writer, politician, and historian often considered to be the founder of French literary Romanticism. She had other admirers, including the duc de Montmorency, Lucien Bonaparte, Prince Augustus of Prussia, and the baron de Barante.
Her style is still influential, especially to those of us who love the Regency period! Everyone knows her image, even those who don't know who she was...
A few sources for her eventful life:
Eduoard Herriot, Madame Recamier (1906)
H. Noel Williams, Madame Recamier and her Friends (1901)
Stephane Paccoud, Juliette Recamier: Muse et mecene (2009)