Luncheon of the Boating Party
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Luncheon of the Boating Party

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  3,921 ratings  ·  682 reviews
Bestselling author Susan Vreeland returns with a vivid exploration of one of the most beloved Renoir paintings in the world

Instantly recognizable, Auguste Renoir's masterpiece depicts a gathering of his real friends enjoying a summer Sunday on a café terrace along the Seine near Paris. A wealthy painter, an art collector, an Italian journalist, a war hero, a celebrated a...more
Hardcover, 434 pages
Published May 3rd 2007 by Viking Adult (first published 2007)
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Stefania T.

Delle perfette letture nel mezzo del cammin della sessione-esami.

Nonostante abbia una “Lista Desideri Librosi” (LDL) lunga da Marsiglia ad Istanbul, può capitare che in libreria mi lasci andare ad uno stupido giochetto infantile, imbarazzante da mettere in pratica e, soprattutto, pericoloso per la mia salute letteraria: è una sorta di gioco della bottiglia nobilitato.
Soltanto che poi non mi tocca baciare il commesso (questo non significa che non mi piacerebbe – preciso, caso mai stesse leggendo...more
Jill Nolan
I love historical fiction and I was really intrigued when I found this book. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The premise of a book set in bohemian Paris which delves into the lives and conversations of Renoir and the models for his famous painting was irresistable. While Vreeland's research is impressive and provides a lot of detail, it is done in a slow and awkward way. The book provided insight into Renoir's thought process and what it was like to be an impressionist painter. I also found h...more
Uncle! At pg. 162 of a 429 pg. book and have found little to no inspiration to continue. I don't remember thinking much of Vreeland's Girl in Hyacinth Blue either.
Erika Robuck
“What would they become? she wondered. What has he glimpsed in us to lay over that vast white land? Us. Nous. She said the word aloud, dropping off the s, a kind of lowing. The exhilaration she had felt yesterday surged again. She was part of something.” (113)

Luncheon of the Boating Party, Susan Vreeland

Susan Vreeland’s Luncheon of the Boating Party was published in 2007 and is 434 pages. I read it on Stephanie Cowell’s recommendation after finishing and loving her novel about Monet, Claude and...more
Suzanne Krueger
I really wanted to like this book. BUT it was over written, much too long, too much flowery description; trying to convey the thoughts and feelings of an artist came across to me as melodramatic and artificial.
I am an artist. I am a colorist...but enough already describing the mixing of every color.
I finished the book and endured some of the unnecessary subplots. Paris is my favorite city; I enjoyed the historical references. I learned what I wanted to know about the concept for the painting and...more
“Il mondo è incantevole, Alphonsine. Guardatevi intorno. Guardate i colori dell’acqua che fremono come seta marezzata, il reticolo d’ombre disegnato dai rami, il germano reale dalla testa irridescente. Non sembra in posa per me, con la luce che danza sull’anello bianco del collo? E voi, con i capelli che spuntano dal cappellino. Vita! L’incanto della vita! Se dovessi dipingere quello che vedo in quest’istante non sarebbe una mia invenzione, ma un dono… di Dio, se volete, o del flusso incessante...more
I don't usually like reading novels portraying real people. It's hard for me to invest in the author's version of them - I keep wanting to exchange fictionalized versions for actual biographies/memoirs so I can come to my own understanding of who they were.

That said, I really enjoyed this novel once I got over the initial hump. It was so saturated with the sense of sunlight and joyful atmosphere of impressionist artwork. I felt myself tasting the meals along with the characters, feeling a breeze...more
Gael Owen
This book depicts Renoir's efforts to create one his most famous Impressionist paintings. It was our book club selection so I stuck with it to the end though I found almost any excuse I could to repeatedly put the book down and do other things . . . house cleaning, laundry, weeding, washing my hair . . .
It is over 400 pages long and should have been shortened to about 100. I found it difficult to care about any of the characters, except perhaps Alphonsine, and that was maringal. Much of the d...more
Val Wilkerson
I loved this book, it was absolutely delicious!! Its about Pierre Augusto Renoir, and his painting
"Luncheon of the Boating Party". I held off until I finished the book before I googled this painting
so I could finally see it. The book was wonderful, it made me want to take painting classes, it introduced you to each person in the painting, it made you think about colors. I was blown away by how much I loved this book. Plus the story itself was captivating!
Susan Vreeland is an American author of historical fiction who specialises in vivid novelisations of art and artists, and like Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Luncheon of the Boating Party is based around a particular painting. Ever since I read The Horse’s Mouth by Joyce Cary I’ve looked out for books that explore the mind of the artist, and I had also enjoyed Vreeland’s Passion of Artemesia - about the first woman admitted to the Accademia dell’ Arte in Florence – and The Forest Lover - about the groun...more
I really tried to like this book but was very disappointed. I loved The Girl in Hyacinth Blue and Artemisia as both books created mood, atmosphere and I felt like the artists were believable and understood. Vreeland seemed to understand each artist and how they painted in the earlier books but Renoir comes off as a bit of a sap. When it came to describing his painting approach it seemed trite and almost pendactic in tone. As an artist, this grated me immensely. I honestly feel like she sold out...more
Ho sempre amato l’Impressionismo, e “Il pranzo dei canottieri” è sempre stato uno dei quadri che più mi colpivano. Leggere il modo in cui ha preso forma, le storie dei personaggi che vi appaiono è stato interessante: finalmente quelle figure, belle e colorate ma con le quali solitamente non si riesce ad entrare completamente in sintonia non conoscendone la vita, hanno preso una forma ben più consistente. Da striature di colore sono diventate persone. Mi sono appassionata alle loro storie, ho se...more
Bonnie Gayle
Sep 13, 2007 Bonnie Gayle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Girl With a Pearl Earring
It took me awhile to read this book, mainly because I was really wanting to read a more adventuresome than contemplative book, but that turned out for the best, because this was a book intended to be savored rather than quickly inhaled. Once I got into it, about 50 pages in, I really liked it.
It's about the creation of the painting on the front cover (and also shown in the movie Amelie). Who were the people? What was it like to pose for Renoir? What was Renoir like? Through the answer to those q...more
La vita moderna è un romanzo meraviglioso, che racconta la nascita di uno dei quadri più famosi dell'impressionismo "la colazione dei canottieri" di Renoire.

Con una ricostruzione storica abbastanza fedele, Susan Vreeland è riuscita a dar voce ad Auguste Renoire e i suoi scapestrati amici di Montmartre che per sei domeniche di fila, si incontrano sulla terrazza della Maison Fournaise per dar vita all'emblema della vita moderna: la borghesia e la nobiltà che socializzano dopo un pranzo luculliano....more
The lusty, leisurely, lovingly-told story of how Renoir came to paint the famous picture of 14 revelers at lunch by the Seine. The novel is fun for what it teaches you (or reminds you) about the Impressionist movement. And it's fun because of how deeply the author plunges you into Renoir's world. But at times the writing seems like a dramatized "History Comes Alive!" section in a high school textbook.

If you go for this book, make sure to get one of the editions where a picture of the whole pain...more
Questo libro brilla di luce come un dipinto,un romanzo che attraverso le parole, fa conoscere e vedere la vita artistica della Parigi dell'800.
questo romanzo è una sinfonia di luci,colori e linee.
come diceva lo stesso Renoir
Sono giunta alla convinzione che se una cosa, per quanto possa essere semplice o sciocca, può dare un attimo di felicità, per Dio, vale la pena di farlo!!!!
It's a bit slow going but I love the theme and who could not love the setting; Paris. Will let you know what I think of the book when I reach the end. It is fun to read about the characters(artists) so far. But a bit too much detail of non important things.I already finished the book and thought it quite worthwhile to read;especially to learn more concerning the now famous artists of that era. I am not so sure I liked the ending but won't reveal why. nina
I listened to this book on audio cd and loved it. It's a great story about how Auguste Renoir came to create the famous "boating party" painting.
After suffering through Clara and Mr. Tiffany, it wasn't easy to pick up another Susan Vreeland book, but I wanted to know more about the Renoir painting that I often see crowds gathered around whenever I go to the Phillips Collection in DC. It turns out this book was well worth the read, and now I too want to go to back the Phillips and sit in front of Luncheon at the Boating Party and pick out the characters Renoir chose for his grouping at the Maison Fournaise on the Seine. Narrated by August...more
I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Karen White. Although I was not a total fan of Karen White as a narrator, everyone who entered my car while I listened to the audiobook found themselves interested and captivated by the vignettes. Clearly that is the best one can ask from a narrator.
The book itself tells the story of Renoir's masterpiece Luncheon of the Boating Party . I found myself on the Phillips Collection website looking at the painting and the "who's who" tab. The book follows the...more
This book takes on the gigantic task of recreating the colorful Parisian milieu and events in the life and times of Pierre-August Renoir as well as speculating on how he came to create his masterpiece of the book's title (original title: Dejeuner des Canotiers)in 1880. During the lean and bitter years following France's humiliating defeat in the Franco-Prussian War (1870) a new group of maverick painters burst forth in the Parisian art scene. They were young, bold, gifted, and iconoclastic--det...more
Alyson Farmer
A great weight has been taken off my shoulders in finishing this book. I just didn't have much time to read in August but felt pressure to read it since a dear friend recommended it. I was interested in the subject because this is a painting that I've loved since high school and Renior was the first artist I fell in love with. I had 3 of his prints on my walls in high school, including this one.

I wish I'd know that this book is more of a historical-fiction novel than a work of fiction. I also wi...more
This is one of those books that really makes me wish I could read faster. It took even longer because I had to keep looking back at the cover to see who was being described. It's all you could ever want to know about Renoir's painting of the same title. I read it for the library book club. The librarian invited the San Diego author to come. She said she was too busy but we could call and talk to her for a half hour. There are only 8 people in our group and we're seldom all there. So I agree it w...more
I really enjoyed this book, which was part of our MIA (art museum)Literature in Art series. It's a novel about the creation of the Renoir painting of the same name. The time period (around 1880) in which Renoir painted Luncheon of the Boating Party was the dawn of "La Vie Moderne" and the era of the struggle between the Impressionists and The Salon, the official French arts academy, both of which are themes in this book. Many famous artists, art critics and dealers are characters in the novel. T...more
Susan Vreeland only gets better. I've read all of her previous books and found them excellent.

This book is on another level. She truly communicated in her writing the passion for painting that lead so many of the great ones to suffer poverty to bring us so much beauty.

The painting is Renoir's "Les Dejeuner des Canotiers" (Luncheon of the Boating Party) was completed in 1881 during the growing pains of the Impressionist movement. The novel covers the multiple Sundays painting the party as well a...more
I felt I had gone back in time, walking the street of Paris, rejoicing in a day off, and hearing someone give words to the many things I saw, while clearly pointing out what I would have missed. The research and story had so much to tell, that sometimes my walk slowed to stand still just to absorb everything. When I caught my breath, I resumed my stroll, to find more wonders. A fabulous book, for the contemplative reader. To race through it is to ignore the myriad layers of color, sound, and mor...more
Mar 17, 2009 Stacey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: art lovers/.historical fiction lovers
Recommended to Stacey by: my sister
I read this one a couple weeks ago. I really liked it.You really got a feel for what it was like at that time in Paris. I really identified with Alphonsine. I really wished she had ended up with Renoir instead of the little girl. I understood all the doubt and fear that Renoir was feeling during the entire book. I thought all of the main female charcters were fully developed. I liked how the author switched from chapters about Renoir and his work on this masterpiece to chapters dedicated to the...more
A thoroughly enjoyable piece of historical fiction. Ms. Vreeland performs careful research for her novels, and the reader is the richer for it. She delves into the history of M. Renoir so well that he becomes a familiar man with all of the virtues and foibles we all have, not an impressionist painter who is revered today. One appreciates the risk and the effort he underwent to create "Le déjeuner des canotiers" in 1881. She also gives each of the people in the painting a life, not just a place i...more
... this book is fantastic! French History and Art, and a group of regular/ amazing people, who were friends, that pulled together to get this painting (by Renoir) done and make history. Their attitude (especially after coming out of a horrific war) was about ushering in the new. Their ages ranged from 19 to 40, but their spirit was a purposeful one and a unified youthful one. Each of their lives had all of the drama that makes life about " living life to the fullest." Alphonsine was my favorite...more
I was saving this for my trip to France, and I must say that it really added a lot to seeing impressionist paintings in person. Monet was always my favorite impressionist, and while I had some Renoirs that I liked, 'Luncheon of the Boating Party' wasn't one of them. This book made me appreciate the painting even more, as well as the impressionist movement as a whole. Vreeland's characters are rich and fascinating. I'm always a little hesitant about what to take for fact in historical fiction, bu...more
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Susan Vreeland is an internationally renowned best-selling author and four-time winner of the Theodor Geisel Award for Fiction, the San Diego Book Award’s highest honor. She is known for writing historical fiction on art-related themes, including Girl in Hyacinth Blue, The Passion of Artemisia, Luncheon of the Boating Party, and Clara and Mr. Tiffany. Her books have been translated into 26 languag...more
More about Susan Vreeland...
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“He had a thought that amused him. "Figures, still life, landscape, AND an animal! Zola, eat your hat!" he bellowed.” 3 likes
“If you want to preach, young man, you ought to wear some kind of clerical costume so people would be warned. In my mind, there are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them. I hate le misérabilisme. I’m in the shining business, not the darkening business.” 2 likes
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