ART DECO INSPIRATION
LIANE DE POUGY II
Art deco Inspiration
Despite a good education and a bourgeois marriage, Liane de Pougy, ambitious and rebellious, quickly preferred the life of a demi-mondaine to that of a family mother. Her sapphic loves, particularly with another courtesan, Emilienne d’Alençon, and Natalie Clifford Barney, made headlines. Recounting her affair with the English poet in her novel Idylle saphique, caused a sensation in Paris, much like her first novel, L’insaisissable, which narrated the life of a courtesan strongly inspired by hers, whose only sin was “to want to love as much as to be loved.” After writing a comedy and five novels, she kept a journal that hinted at spiritual aspirations. Her marriage to Prince Georges Ghika in 1908 and the death of her son in 1914 initiated a slow metamorphosis towards a life dedicated to charitable works. In 1943, the former demi-mondaine took her vows and assumed the name Sister Anne-Marie de la Pénitence. The “prettiest woman of the century” ended her life as a Dominican nun, in a room at the Carlton in Lausanne transformed into a cell…
Marcel Proust was inspired by Liane the courtesan to create Odette de Crécy, the love obsession of Charles Swann.