Luncheon of the Boating Party

Luncheon of the Boating Party

3.4 27
by Susan Vreeland
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

See more details below

Overview

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 masterpiece, which depicts a gathering of Renoir's real friends enjoying a summer Sunday on a café terrace along the Seine. Narrated by Renoir and seven of the models, the novel illuminates the gusto, hedonism, and art of the era. With a gorgeous palette of vibrant, captivating characters, Vreeland paints their lives, loves, losses, and triumphs so vividly that fithe painting literally comes alive? (The Boston Globe).

Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer
Vreeland's most ambitious book yet.
Parade
If a trip to Paris is a bit outside of your price range, Vreeland's new novel is the next best thing.
San Diego Union-Tribune
A masterwork.
Seattle Times
Exquisitely wrought . . . this summer's most satisfying historical novel.
Baltimore Sun
Vreeland takes the big bold brush strokes of Renoir's personal and artistic oeuvre and displays them with her usual vividness in this eponymous novel. . . . Sensual and provocative.
Publishers Weekly
Imagining the banks of the Seine in the thick of la vie moderne, Vreeland (Girl in Hyacinth Blue) tracks Auguste Renoir as he conceives, plans and paints the 1880 masterpiece that gives her vivid fourth novel its title. Renoir, then 39, pays the rent on his Montmartre garret by painting "overbred society women in their fussy parlors," but, goaded by negative criticism from Emile Zola, he dreams of doing a breakout work. On July 20, the daughter of a resort innkeeper close to Paris suggests that Auguste paint from the restaurant's terrace. The party of 13 subjects Renoir puts together (with difficulty) eventually spends several Sundays drinking and flirting under the spell of the painter's brush. Renoir, who declares, "I only want to paint women I love," falls desperately for his newest models, while trying to win his last subject back from her rich fiance. But Auguste and his friends only have two months to catch the light he wants and fend off charges that he and his fellow Impressionists see the world "through rose-colored glasses." Vreeland achieves a detailed and surprising group portrait, individualized and immediate. (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal

Here, Vreeland uses words to paint the changing world of late 19th-century France. After being stung by remarks in an essay written by French novelist Émile Zola concerning the inadequacies of Impressionism, Pierre-Auguste Renoir is goaded to paint a masterpiece surpassing his Montmartre spectacle Bal au Moulin de la Galette, which will finally establish this school as heir to the artistic traditions of France and Italy. He uses models, allowing the listener to experience la vie moderne, the new modes of living, thinking, and expressing that transformed the social world of the late 19th century into the one we inhabit today. Alphonsine, daughter of the proprietor of La Maison Fournaise, and Angèle, a debauched child of Montmartre, are naturals. The beautiful yet spoiled Circe, fobbed off on Renoir by a jaded Parisian socialite, provokes a crisis when she quits midstream, refusing to be painted in profile. Renoir finds her replacement in Aline, a 19-year-old seamstress he will one day marry. Other models add their own piquancy. Karen White brings a cadenced elegance to her reading that is set off by her irreverent over-the-top voicing of the snobby Circe and the naïve innocence of Aline. Recommended for libraries with a commitment to historical fiction and books about art.
—David Faucheux

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143113522
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/26/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
190,322
Product dimensions:
5.47(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >