Luncheon of the Boating Party

Luncheon of the Boating Party

Book - 2007
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Bestselling author Susan Vreeland returns with a vivid exploration of one of the most beloved Renoir paintings in the world. Instantly recognizable, Auguste Renoirs masterpiece depicts a gathering of his real friends enjoying a summer Sunday on a cafe terrace along the Seine near Paris. A wealthy painter, an art collector, an Italian journalist, a war hero, a celebrated actress, and Renoirs future wife, among others, share this moment of "la vie moderne," a time when social constraints were loosening and Paris was healing after the Franco-Prussian War. Parisians were bursting with a desire for pleasure and a yearning to create something extraordinary out of life. Renoir shared these urges and took on this most challenging project at a time of personal crises in art and love, all the while facing issues of loyalty and the diverging styles that were tearing apart the Impressionist group. Narrated by Renoir and seven of the models and using settings in Paris and on the Seine, Vreeland illuminates the gusto, hedonism, and art of the era. With a gorgeous palette of vibrant, captivating characters, she paints their lives, loves, losses, and triumphs in a brilliant portrait of her own.
Publisher: New York : Viking, c2007
ISBN: 9780670038541
Branch Call Number: VREELAN
Characteristics: xii, 434 p., [4] p. of plates : col. ill., maps ; 24 cm


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Jan 30, 2018

Compelling story about the painting and a great look into the painters life and times, as well as the process of his painting this well known piece. Moves along well and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Feb 03, 2015

I thoroughly enjoyed this book about Renoir's painting of The Luncheon Party and felt as if I was there observing the whole process, together with all the participants. I found I was constantly flipping back and forth between the painting and the details in the story. It made the painting come alive for me.

Nov 11, 2014

After I read this, I read The Judgment of Paris. a history of the beginnings of the Impressionist movement. Vreeland writes fiction but has done much research and most of the details are buttressed by facts. It was fun to read about the times and the problems of the artists and also, there's a little love interest,

Jun 04, 2007

This is the story of Renoir's famous painting 'Luncheon of the Boating Party,' a work completed on the balcony of the restaurant La Maison Fournaise, just outside of Paris. Combining historical fact with Ms. Vreeland's vivid imagination we learn how the painting came into existence and how the models were chosen and gathered, as well as a sense of the time and place. The models' identities are largely based on historical fact, but as with all works of historical fiction the author uses her vivid imagination in guessing their conversations, relationships and emotions. There is something compelling about an author bringing to life the story of a work of art. The characters become familiar and spark curiosity about who they were, the location becomes a real place one could visit, and the art itself becomes an intimate friend. Vreeland's background in and her passion for fine art is clearly a prerequisite in producing a story like this. The descriptions of the colors, clothing and food I can only describe as "delicious" and caused me to nearly feel that I was actually there among them.

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