1) Like death
"Olivier Bertin is at the height of his career as a painter. After making his name with his Cleopatra, he went on to establish himself as "the chosen painter of the Parisiennes, the most adroit and ingenious artist to reveal their grace, their figures, and their souls." And though his hair may be white, he remains a handsome, vigorous, and engaging bachelor, a prized guest at every table and salon. Anne, the comtesse de Guilleroy, is a youthful forty,...