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Honora de Balzac is considered the founder of social realism. Balzac was the first writer to write about the all social levels of the social scene in France. His vast collection of works encompasses the Restoration period and the July Monarchy. La Comedie Humaine was written between 1799 and 1850. This collection contains 95 novels, stories, and essays. The Unknown Masterpiece is a short story first published in the newspaper L Artiste with the title "Maitre Frenhofer." It was later part of the La Comedie Humaine. The story begins with young Nicolas Poussin visiting the painter Porbus in his workshop. He is accompanied by the old master Frenhofer who comments expertly on the large tableau that Porbus has just finished. The painting is of Mary of Egypt, and while Frenhofer sings her praises, he hints that the work seems unfinished."
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