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Luncheon of the Boating Party

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  6,427 Ratings  ·  871 Reviews
A vivid exploration of one of the most beloved Renoir paintings in the world, ?done with a flourish worthy of Renoir himself? (USA Today)

With her richly textured novels, Susan Vreeland has offered pioneering portraits of artists? lives. Now, as she did in Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Vreeland once again focuses on a single painting?Auguste Renoir?s instantly recognizable maste
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Published May 3rd 2007 by Penguin Audio (first published 2007)
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Deale Hutton I am loving it. I think it takes a bit to get into it, but once he started painting, I was hooked.
Since your post was awhile ago, did you read it?
I am loving it. I think it takes a bit to get into it, but once he started painting, I was hooked.
Since your post was awhile ago, did you read it?
I loved Forest Lover!!(less)
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If you have an interest in art or art history, and you like historical fiction, then you will enjoy this one. This is a story of Augueste Renior as he painted The Luncheon of the Boating Party, who the models were and how they come to be in the painting. How historically accurate these events are I don't know, but Vreeland weaves an interesting storyline that fits with the gaiety of the paintings subject. This is one of those paintings that makes you say, "I wish I had been there".
Pierre August Renoir was struggling financially in 1880, reduced to painting portraits of upper class women but wanting to work on a more satisfying project. He decided to paint "Luncheon of the Boating Party", a large painting worthy of being hung in the prestigious Salon. Renoir gathered up his friends and acquaintances to pose on a series of Sunday afternoons on the terrace of a restaurant along the Seine. Renoir wanted to depict people enjoying life in a beautiful location. He felt committed ...more
Stefania T.
Jul 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Jan 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio, arts, france, hf, audible, 2015-read
This book is excellent. What exactly does that mean? I guess that puts it between very good and amazing. Why is it short of amazing? It is hard to feel an emotional connection to a group of about twenty characters. First you have to get to know all of them. The further you read into the story the more attached the reader feels for the numerous characters. There is not one character that is bland. Each has an interesting story to tell. Still there are just too many, and this being a book of histo ...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
Jul 25, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Suzanne Krueger
Oct 04, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
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
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mi e' capitato molte volte, guardando un dipinto, di lasciar scorrere l'immaginazione e fantasticare su chi fossero le persone rappresentate, quale fosse la loro vita giocando con la fantasia e divertendomi a inventare storie nella mia mente.

Susan Vreeland mi serve su un piatto d'argento un libro di 500 pagine in cui posso chiudere gli occhi e ritrovarmi in un attimo nella Parigi di fine 800, mi accompagna in questo giochino che mi diverte tanto ad assistere alla creazione di uno dei capolavori
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Erika Robuck
Aug 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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
Gael Owen
Aug 13, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: narrativa
Bello, gioviale e malinconico, romantico caleidoscopio di storie sogni passioni illusioni e delusioni.
Tutto in un paio di mesi, quelli necessari alla realizzazione del quadro che porta l'Impressionismo nell'età adulta.
Non solo storie di pittori, ma storie di tutto il mondo che gravitava a Parigi e dintorni in quegli anni.
Personaggi straordinari perché veri.
Vreeland sa raccontare l'atto creativo in modo da farlo vivere a chi legge e questo da solo basterebbe a far amare il libro :)
Rebecca Huston
One of my favourite books to come out of 2007. A fictional treatment of how Renoir painted his work, the Luncheon of the Boating Party, and the various people in it. Wonderful story. Happily recommended.

For the longer review, please go here:

Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Divno, divno... 400 stranica čistog zadovoljstva :)
Nije klasik, novijeg je datuma, lagano štivo...ali toliko lepo...
Opisi Pariza, Sene, prirode, obilje boja, zanimljivi dijalozi, sitnice koje nam omogućavaju da zavirimo u boemske živote francuskih impresionista, priča o nesebičnoj ljubavi...divota jedna!
Book Concierge
Audio book performed by Karen White

In the summer of 1880 Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted what was to become one of his most instantly recognizable masterpieces, depicting a gathering of friends enjoying an afternoon on a café terrace along the Seine near Paris. His fourteen models included, among others, a famous painter, an art collector, a celebrated actress, the café owner’s daughter, a war hero, an Italian journalist, and a laundress. This was shortly after the Franco-Prussian war, and so
Guenda Ferri
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Val Wilkerson
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-books-read
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!
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Louise si batté la mano sul cuore. "Voi dipingete quello che amate? Non è vero?"
"Le cose migliori si fanno sempre per amore, madame"
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this fictionalized account of the painting of the Boating Party. While I've seen reproductions of this painting many times and once had the privilege of seeing the actual canvas, I never gave any thought to who the people pictured in it. It was enjoyable to find out who they were and to learn a bit about them. Also fascinating to get inside Renoir's head a bit. Vreeland clearly did a lot of research for this and made the characters and situations as true to life as possible, while still ...more
Jul 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book on CD. Karen White parle un francais parfait. And, author, Susan Vreeland, made this novel come to life. 'Luncheon of the Boating Party' takes place on a café terrace along the Seine just outside of Paris. Pierre-Auguste Renoir ( 1841-1919)decides to do a painting using his friends. How many friends he uses is a very interesting number. This is a monumental effort and will take several Sunday afternoons to complete.

To understand the simmering passion, take note that the
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
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american
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
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
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!!!
Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
Fantastique. I love this historical account of the elaboration of "the luncheon of the Boating Party." Fourteen friends and acquaintances made it on to the canvas and we learn who they are and how a masterpiece was made. Excellent novel for the lovers of impressionism, art and anything French.
Jun 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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
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