20 rue de Berri, Princess Mathilde’s salon -She was the niece of Napoleon I and the cousin of Napoleon III. Proust started going to her salon in 1891. She inspired him for one of his characters.
12 avenue Hoche, Madame Arman de Caillavet’s salon – She was Anatole France’s muse and held a political and literary salon. Proust attended it from 1889 and there he met and became friends with her son Gaston, who inspired him for his character Saint-Loup. It is also thought that the hostess inspired him for some of Madame Verdurin’s personality traits.
122 boulevard Haussmann, Madame Straus’ salon – She was George Bizet’s widow and the mother of Marcel Proust’s first great friend Jacques Bizet. The writer courted her relentlessly. He met Charles Haas in her salon, who inspired him for his character Charles Swann.
104 rue de Miromesnil, Madame Straus’ salon – Marcel Proust attended the Straus salon from 1898 and this is where he met Jean Cocteau (who is thought to have inspired him for a few personality traits for his character Octave in “In Search of Lost Time”).
11 rue Montchanin (now rue Jacques-Bingen), Madame Lydie Aubernon de Nerville’s salon – Proust attended it from 1892 and the hostess inspired him for his character Madame Verdurin, especially for her wit and the authority when directing a conversation.
50 avenue du Bois (now avenue Foch), Boni de Castellane – In 1895, the Marquis Boni de Castellane who was married to Anna Gould, built the famous “Pink Palace” which nolonger exists, in the old Avenue de l’Impératrice.
40 rue du Général-Foy, Laure de Baignières’ salon – She was the mother of Proust’s school friend Jacques Baignières at Lycée Condorcet. She also had a property at Trouville named “Les Frémonts” where Jacques-Emile Blanche made his first pencil draft of Proust’s famous portrait that is today at the Musée d’Orsay. This is wherehe met Alphonse Daudet.
100 boulevard Malesherbes, Marguerite de Saint-Marceaux’s salon - She was an inspiration for the character Madame Verdurin and is the person who personifies best the artistic movement of “la Plaine Monceau” around 1900.
31 rue de Monceau, Madeleine Lemaire’s salon – Her salon was known as “the Empress of roses” artist’s studio and she illustrated Proust’s fi rst book “Les Plaisirs et les Jours”. She was an inspiration for some of Madame Verdurin’s traits. In 1903, Proust wrote an article for the Figaro that alludes to her place as “the lilac courtyard androses’ studio”. This is where he met for the first time Robert de Montesquiou, Reynaldo Hahn and Camille Saint-Saëns.
69 rue de Courcelles, Hélène Brancovan’s salon – She was Prince Alexandre Bibesco’s widow and the mother of Antoine Bibesco. The latter became one of Proust’s good friends in 1899, and Proust gave him and his brother Emmanuel the nickname of “Karamazov brothers”. They are Anna de Noailles’ cousins.
34 avenue Hoche, Anna de Noailles – This is where Anna de Noailles grew up in the Brancovan family house that today no longer exists. Her bedroom has been reconstructed with all the original furniture in the Carnavalet museum, opposite Proust’s bedroom.
27 avenue de Friedland, Comtesse Potocka’s salon – Born Pignatelli, she held a salon where many young people stopped by, including Montesquiou and Jacques-Emile Blanche. Proust used to attend her salon and wrote asuperb article about it in 1904 for the Figaro under the penname Horatio.
12 rue de Miromesnil, Comtesse de Beaulaincourt’s salon - She used to host the Goncourt brothers, Sainte-Beuve etc. She was an inspiration for Proust’s character Madame de Villeparisis.
32 rue de Miromesnil, Comtesse Laure Adhéaume de Chevigné’s salon – Born Laure de Sade, she is one of the women who was an inspiration for the character of Duchess Oriane deGuermantes, the narrator’s inaccessible idol in “InSearch of Lost Time”, Charlus’ sister-in-law and Swann’s great friend.
8-10 rue d’Astorg, Comtesse Greffulhe’s salon – Born Princess de Caraman-Chimay, she was Robert deMontesquiou’s cousin. She serves as an inspiration forboth the Duchess and the Princess de Guermantes.
11bis, rue Balzac, José-Maria de Heredia – The poet, member of the Academy and author of “Trophées” hosted young writers such as Pierre Louys, Henri de Régnier, Fernand Gregh, Paul Valéry and Marcel Proust.
5 place d’Iéna, Prince Constantin Radziwill’s Private House – The diabolic Albert Le Cuziat was one of his valets. HissonLéon Radziwill was one of Proust’s great friends.
|20 rue Berri, Paris|