Lisa's Reviews > Luncheon of the Boating Party

Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland
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's review
Feb 03, 2012

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bookshelves: library-book-or-loan, usa, art-fiction
Read from February 01 to 11, 2012

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 ground-breaking Canadian artist Emily Carr. So when I saw this one at the library, I snapped it up.

Luncheon of the Boating Party, by Pierre- Auguste Renoir was one of his major paintings, completed in 1880-1881. He painted it from life, depicting a group of his friends on the balcony at the Maison Fournaise on the River Seine in Chatou, a suburb of Paris. He wanted to show Paris enjoying the good life, in recovery from the horrors of the Franco-Prussian war, and he wanted to capture the conviviality of everyday people relaxing in an everyday situation (rather than the conservative themes of the pre-Impressionist era).

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02/05/2012 page 134
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