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Victorine

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4.58  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  20 reviews
In 1863, Civil War is raging in the United States. Victorine Meurent is posing nude, in Paris, for paintings that will be heralded as the beginning of modern art: Manet's Olympia and Picnic on the Grass. However, Victorine's persistent desire is not to be a model but to be a painter herself.

In order to live authentically, she finds the strength to flout the expectations o
...more
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Published March 17th 2020 by Fleur-di-Lis Press
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Christa Sigman
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2020
I have been privileged to read an advanced copy of this novel. I love historical fiction about real people. I love it even more when it involves the arts. Victorine is about one of Manet's (and other artists') muses. However she also was a successful artist after a period of time in her own right. This book encompasses women's issues, class differences, the ideologies of art, and the struggles of love all without losing the delicacy of excellent story telling. I hate to read on an electronic dev ...more
Helen Hollick
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We’ve all seen her on the covers of lush and shiny Impressionists coffee table books. Naked—sitting on the grass with two clothed men in Le déjeuner sur l’herbe and reclined on a chaise in Olympia—or clothed as a matador, or a street musician, or a demur mother with her daughter by the Gare Saint-Lazare. But precious few of us know anything of Victorine Meurent, Manet’s favorite model. Drēma Drudge sets out to change all that and succeeds in grand fashion.

This might seem a variation of a coming-
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Carla Sue
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Drema captured the spirit of Victorine in this beautifully captivating novel. I am not typically a fan of art or historical fiction, but from the first page, I was drawn into this story. Each page is filled with hope, longing, courage, and despair as Victorine learns about herself, her passions, and about love - love of herself, of others, and greatest of all, of art. Victorine is bold and remarkable. This novel is a masterpiece of it's own accord, as well. The words on each page flow like paint ...more
Mercedes Rochelle
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am a great fan of Manet, so I was especially interested in the story of his famous model for Olympia, the woman who looks at the viewer with such a disturbing direct gaze. Drema Drudge’s Victorine is—as might well be expected—disturbing in her own right. She is an original. No doubt about it. She leads a Bohemian lifestyle at a time when French painters were expressing their individualism in ways that conflicted with the mainstream, led by the talented Manet. He recognizes her charisma and inv ...more
Susan
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great writing... wonderful story!
Juliet Bookliterati
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Victorine by Drēma Drudge is a fictional account of the life of Victorine Meurant. The name may not sound familiar to you, but you will have seen her face in some of the most famous paintings, especially Le Déjeuner sur l’ Herbe, and Olympia. In this book, Drēma Drudge brings Victorine to life, from being a muse to Manet and Alfred Stevens, to finally being recognised as an artisit in her own right.

I first came across Victorine when studying for my Art History Degree, when looking at women in ar
...more
Barred Owl Books
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In 1863 Civil War is raging in the United States Victorine Meurent is posing nude, in Paris, for paintings that will be heralded as the beginning of modern art: Manet's Olympia and Picnic on the Grass. However, Victorine's persistent desire is not to be a model but to be a painter herself. In order to live authentically, she finds the strength to flout the expectations of her parents, bourgeois society, and the dominant male artists (whom she knows personally) while never losing her capacity for ...more
Drema Drudge
Feb 11, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)

March 17, 2020 from Fleur-de-Lis Press

Preorder today from:

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Here's a sneak peek:

Manet watches me pose for Stevens. I am, as always in Stevens’s paintings, looking wistfully beyond my beautifully appointed surroundings toward something unattainable or unknown. Longing, that’s what he paints better than anyone. I suppose men
...more
Mary Yarde
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing



"Is there no way to stop the decay, the inevitable death of all but art? Good, solid, great art. I want to create it because I want to live forever."

She was born into a family of artisans and had a secret ambition to become an artist. He was rich, but had rejected the future initially envisaged for him and instead immersed himself in the world of art. But on one auspicious day, Victorine Meurent and Édouard Manet crossed paths. What was to follow would seemingly mock the tradition of the Royal A
...more
Paula Butterfield
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Victorine Meurent is born in Paris, a city that was itself a work of art. Haussmann is pushing out the poor to create broad avenues and elegant sandstone apartment buildings. The new department stores provide the clothing, cosmetics, and jewelry that allow—or oblige—every woman to look beautiful. How could Victorine have grown up without an eye for beauty?
Her parents are almost-artists, a milliner and a lithographer who prints posters that paper the city. They discourage their daughter’s pursu
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Cynthia Austin
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Drudge’s novel, provides an intimate look into the life of French model Victorine Meurent, a Parisian artist born in a time where women artists were not taken seriously. The only way to express her love of art was to pose for male painters.

A muse to Edourd Monet, the book gives the backstory to each of his paintings. A lifelong relationship is formed between the two and although it is clear Manet loved Victorine, maybe even respected her, he continued to remind her of her inferiority and never q
...more
Gail
Nov 17, 2020 rated it liked it

Victorine by Drema Drudge c2020 as reviewed by Gail M. Murray
This compelling literary novel brings Edouard Manet’s favorite model to life. Narrated in first person, by petite auburn haired Victorine, we witness the relationship between artist and model. He sees the fire in her; she calls him a gentleman admiring his restraint. As he creates his unconventional masterpieces Picnic and Olympia, we are privy to his mindset. A would be artist, bold feminist, analytical and eager to learn, she parle
...more
Terri Dixon
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Let's start by saying that I'm not normally a historical fiction reader. I started this book thinking that I would find it dry. This was not the case. The prose are lyrical, making the descriptions vivid and realistic. The story not only tells of Victorine, but of the Parisian art world during the 1800's and even encompasses the Franco Prussian war. The tales of war are compelling as you get to see the very human side of war survivors.
Victorine is a self made woman in a sexist time and a male d
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Suanne
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Victorine is Drema Drudge’s debut novel and a delight it is. She has captured the spirit of France from the time of the American Civil War in the 1860s through the Siege of Paris by the Prussians in 1870-1871 and artist Manet’s death in 1883. Victorine Meurent is one of Manet’s—and other artists’—models. Born into an artisanal family (her father runs a printing press, and her mother is a milliner), Victorine dreams of becoming an artist. Neither she nor her parents can come up with enough money ...more
Barry Drudge
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Drema Drudge has not only taken us to Paris in the 1860s and 70s, but into the rooms where Victorine Merreunt lived, loved, painted, and was painted.

Written in a very electrifying first person, Drudge has us looking at Victorine's world through her own lens--being a model, being part of a family, creating one's own family, and ending up taking the classes she has dreamed of so that she too can create what's in her heart.

Each character is fully formed. Understanding the boundaries of first person
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Melanie
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Very impressive and well-paced debut novel. A deep dive into 19th century Paris through the POV of Victorine, a model for artist Manet, among others (tip: as you read, google and have handy the art referenced in the book). Drema Drudge has done an exhaustive amount of research into the time, place and people, and it shows.
Julia
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Author Drema Drudge is so dreamily adept at writing, that she made me (someone who really doesn't find most historical fiction remotely interesting) into a fan. Knowing how the muse seized her and how cool Drema is as an individual and creative also encouraged my fandom. A worthwhile read, immersive and compelling, giving the direly needed female perspective.
Barbara
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very impressed with this book and debut by Drema Drudge.
It is the story of Victorine and the art world in the 1800's.
Margie
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
See my review and post on my blog, American Girls Art Club in Paris.
https://americangirlsartclubinparis.c...
...more
M.
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-reads
It was a good read.
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