Manette Salomon (mah-NEHT sah-loh-MOH[N]), a Jewish model, Naz de Coriolis’ mistress. With her frank, ignorant nature and exotic Jewishness, she delights her lover, but when she becomes famous as the subject of his successful painting, there grows in her a pride that causes her to change. Mistaken for Coriolis’ wife, she finds this status attractive. When she becomes a mother, her greed for success comes to the fore, and she gradually gains ascendancy over her lover. When they are married, the fulfillment of her ambition spells the death of his creativity.
Naz de Coriolis
Naz de Coriolis (nahz deh kohr-yoh-LEES), a young painter who vows never to wed because he believes marriage and fatherhood destroy the artist’s creativity. Fascinated by Manette Salomon’s physical perfection and exotic Jewishness, he takes her as a model and his mistress. When fame and motherhood arouse her pride and ambition, he has not the strength to struggle against either her domination over him or the resulting death of his creativity.
Anatole Bazoche (ah-nah-TOHL bah-ZOHSH), a painter, Naz de Coriolis’ close friend, who is alienated from him by Manette. A true bohemian to the last, Anatole, never a “success,” retains his freedom.
Chassagnol (shah-sah-NYOHL), a painter alienated from Naz de Coriolis by Manette.
Garnotelle (gahr-noh-TEHL), a mediocre but successful painter after whom Manette insists Naz de Coriolis model himself.
Crescent (kreh-SAH[N]), a painter, and
Mme Crescent, his wife, who befriend Manette but become cool toward her when they learn that she is Jewish.