Balzac was one of the most influential authors of the 19th Century. His major collection of interlinked novels and stories is known as The Human Comedy. He became known as the ‘French Dickens’, and was an influence on the writings of Charles Dickens, amongst many other significant authors.
Kennan was an influential diplomat during the Cold War. His ideas influenced the Truman Doctrine and the containment of the Soviet Union. He became the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union in 1952, and later, Ambassador to Yugoslavia between 1961-1963.
Walska was an opera singer who became famous for her numerous marriages to wealthy men, and for her Lotusland garden in California. With her wealth she purchased the Theatre des Champs-Elysees and the Duchess of Marlborough Faberge Egg. She is considered to be the source for the character Susan Alexander in the film Citizen Kane.
Albani was a major opera singer in her time. She was one of the first Canadian singers to achieve international fame and subsequently travel across North America and Europe. She was made a Dame in 1925.
Bariatinskaya was born into Russian nobility. At 18 she married one of the Tsar’s aides-de-camp and became Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn. During the 1840s she was painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, with one of these portraits now in the J. Paul Getty Museum.