When Swann likens Odette de Crécy to Botticelli’s Zipporah, in ‘The Events of the Life of Moses’, we know that his love has reached a place from which there is no turning back. He goes so far as to keep a reproduction of the painting on his desk to remind him of her. By focusing on the artistic image Swann’s love develops into a jealous obsession. Ironic, and completely telling, that Odette herself shows an ignorance and insensibility to Botticelli’s work.
« Dire que j’ai gâché des années de ma vie, que j’ai voulu mourir, que j’ai eu mon plus grand amour, pour une femme qui ne me plaisait pas, qui n’était pas mon genre ! » (Swann)