BEYLE, Marie Henri, known as STENDHAL (1783-1842). Autograph manuscript, 'Extrait de Vasari Pour la vie d'André del Sarto', n.p. [Milan], 24/25 January 1812, in French, including material from Vasari's Vite de Pittori, probably intended for inclusion in his own history of Italian painting, annotated on 1st page, 'Recopié 3e vole des Comp[osition]s inédites, pages 63-74', numerous cancellations and deletions, approximately 25½ pages (numbered 3-30), 320 x 200mm, a few annotations in a different hand, margins ruled in red, bound in red morocco by Rivière, gilt spine and inner dentelles.
The manuscript, based upon passages in Vasari's life of Andrea del Sarto in the 3rd volume of the Vite, was written while Beyle was gathering material for his Histoire de la Peinture en Italie (1817), originally conceived as a full scale history but eventually published as a highly selective account of Florentine painting. The present manuscript was published posthumously with minor variants, in Mélanges d'Art et de Literature (1857). In the 1854 prospectus for the Oeuvres Complètes, Prosper Merimée announced that Mélanges would include precious pages by Stendhal, discovered in various places since his death. It is said that when in 1821 he was suspected by the Austrians of involvement in the abortive Lombard uprising, he departed from Italy in such haste that he left his books and manuscripts behind.
The manuscript also includes, on the verso of the last page, three paragraphs of his journal, headed '5 Juin 1814, en ne trouvant pas mon nom parmi ceux des Pairs', reflecting on whether to live in Paris or return to Italy, sometimes using a mixture of French and English ('Working comme c'est mon plaisir de le faire for instance to day at [?] je sens fort bien la possibilité de vivre à Paris dans une chambre de 4e'). Beyle's journals were kept in the form of jottings in the margins of other works, and this particular entry is unpublished. In June 1814 he had been disappointed by the failure of his request to Louis XVIII to be included in the court almanac, and later in the month applied in vain for the Consulates in Naples and Rome. He returned to Milan shortly afterwards.