Barney, Natalie Clifford

WRITER, POET (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
BORN 31 Oct 1876, Dayton, Ohio - DIED 2 Feb 1972, Paris: Hôtel Meurice
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Passy Cimetière, 2 Rue du Commandant Schloesing (division 09)

Daughter of the painter and writer Alice Pike and the rich industrialist Albert Clifford Barney. As a young girl she was sent to a French boarding school and she and her sister Laura returned to the US when she was eleven. The following years they lived in Washington and in Europe.

Nathalie was a lesbian and during the late 1890s she had her first affair, with the courtesan Liane de Pougy. They made no secret of it and it was known all over Paris.

She was very wealthy and from 1909 onwards she lived at a house at 20, Rue Jacob in Paris where she had a literary salon salon on friday afternoons from five until eight. It was visited by T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Auguste Rodin, Rainer Marie Rilke, Proust, Colette and Ezra Pound. Her salon was also famous for the lesbian activities that took place in the small Greek temple behind her house.

Rémy de Gourmont wrote intellectual love letters to her that he published as "Lettres à l’amazone". For the rest of her life she was called The Amazone. The notorious Renée Vivien was her lover until 1901. Nathalie appeared in the latter's novel "The Well of Loneliness" as Valerie Seymour. In 1915 she met Romaine Brooks and they lived together for forty years.

Her own work includes "Pensées D'Une Amazone"and "Souvenirs Indiscrets". Eleven of her twelve books were written in French.

Related persons
• knew Annunzio, Gabriele d'
• was the lover of Brooks, Romaine
• was painted by Brooks, Romaine
• was a friend of Colette, Sidonie-Gabrielle-Claudine
• was a friend of Hall, Radclyffe
• knew Joyce, James
• was a friend of Proust, Marcel
• was the lover of Vivien, Reneé

Images

The grave of Natalie Barney at Passy Cimetière, Paris.
Picture by Androom (21 May 1999)

 

Portrait of Natalie Barney by Romaine Brooks, exhibited at the Palazzo Fortuny in Venice in 2016.
Picture by Androom (14 Feb 2016)

 


Baron, Charles

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 23 Dec 2016