Kathi's Reviews > Luncheon of the Boating Party

Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland
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's review
Mar 10, 2011

really liked it
Read in February, 2011

"Luncheon of the Boating Party" is by the same author as "Girl in Hyacinth Blue". And, just like "GiHB" Ms. Vreeland takes a famous painter & painting (this time Renoir & his painting used in the title) & creates the back story using the actual individuals who posed in the painting. Ms. Vreeland did significant research into who posed & Renoir himself, along with friends of his, at that time, who also appear as supporting cast.
It's a beautiful & captivating story. However, I gave it 4 stars because at times it is repetitive. But I loved the premise of the "story" of all of these people, who were the actual people in the painting, that came together to sit for one of my favorite of Renoir's paintings. The setting is descriptive, I actually felt I was there. It takes place in Paris & a little place along the River Seine called Ile de Chatou. This book opened my eyes further to this painting, enhanced my knowledge of Renoir the painter. But it was also the type of book that takes you away & allows you to escape. It is very well written with some lines I fell in love with:

"You have a sweet face," she said. "Squeeze every pleasure out of live, minette. Even the rind." p.273

'Dear droll Louise. She had glimpsed the truth. Art was love made visible.' p. 355

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