Prosper Mérimée

1803 (Paris) – 1870 (Cannes)

Mérimée met Viollet-le-Duc (later a significant architectural collaborator) as a teenager. Humboldt and Stendhal (a literary influence) were among his friends in Paris bohemian circles. He had a brief and unsatisfactory affair with Sand, proposed to Shelley, translated Turgenev, and met Sainte-Beuve, Ingres and Delacroix in the salons he habituated. Requien met him in his job as Inspector of Monuments, du Camp returned to him the letters he’d written to a past lover, and he himself wrote of a visit to a brothel with Delacroix, Musset and Stendhal. Hugo (whose friendship didn’t last) described a landscape as ‘flat as Mérimée.’