Luncheon of the Boating Party
  • Alternative view 1 of Luncheon of the Boating Party
  • Alternative view 2 of Luncheon of the Boating Party

Luncheon of the Boating Party

3.5 29
by Susan Vreeland
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Bestselling author Susan Vreeland returns with a vivid exploration of one of the most beloved Renoir paintings in the world

Instantly recognizable, Auguste Renoir’s 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…  See more details below

Overview

Bestselling author Susan Vreeland returns with a vivid exploration of one of the most beloved Renoir paintings in the world

Instantly recognizable, Auguste Renoir’s 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 Renoir’s 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.

Read More

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:
9780670038541
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
05/03/2007
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Susan Vreeland is the internationally renowned author of five books, including Girl in Hyacinth Blue.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
San Diego, California
Date of Birth:
January 20, 1946
Place of Birth:
Racine, Wisconsin
Education:
San Diego State University
Website:
http://www.svreeland.com

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Luncheon of the Boating Party 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A friend had suggested the audio version, but being a lover of books I chose the book. I love Impressionist art and even had a print of the subject painting in my home. I'm really enjoying the details and personality quirks of the characters and how the author has wound the history and politics and fashion of the time into the story. Looking forward to another!!
katknit More than 1 year ago
What goes through an artist's mind during the act of creating a painting? Susan Vreeland makes that question the theme of Luncheon of the Boating Party. Generally agreed to be one of Renoir's masterpieces, Luncheon is a huge canvas depicting fourteen people enjoying a repast at an inn along the River Seine. Renoir is depicted at the pivotal point in his career when he was struggling to decide whether to persist with the impressionist genre, or to incorporate more formal techniques and styles. Provoked by a critical comment from Emile Zola, he embarks upon a quest to produce a work to serve as the definitive rebuttal. Vreeland immerses her readers within the heart of Montmartre and the romantic Parisian ideal of "modern life". A joyous commingling of street scenes and cafe society, artists and models, dealers and yachtsmen, Luncheon is an earthy, incandescent evocation of one of the art world's most momentous eras. Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The rich characters and luscious landscapes of Paris and the surrounding countryside made this book so much fun to read. Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting fictional book based on Renoir's famous painting. The people in this painting have actually been identified. The author has built a story around the diverse people in the painting and the interaction between them as they got together to pose for this painting. It is not filled with a lot of action but is more a description of the people and how Renoir might have painted this work of art.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable read, filled with atmosphere of the period. Interesting insights into the picture and the artist's struggle to depict an idea. Very descriptive of the relationships among the people portrayed.
lubs2read More than 1 year ago
This book is great! If you love Renoir (and I do) then you will appreciate this book. It really brings the artist to life and the painting as well. I have enjoyed this author before and look forward to reading more of her books. This would make an excellent gift for impressionist art lovers! I recommend this book to all!
Anonymous 6 months ago
I loved the characters and the background of Renoir's painting. I loved reading about the people in the painting and the life of Renoir and the culture of France. It was amazing to learn that the people were real. I would have loved to meet them all. This is another fine book by Ms. Vreeland. This a must read for those who love the Impressionist artists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book
leopardiNJ More than 1 year ago
In the summer of 1880 at a restaurant along the banks of the Seine downstream from Paris, goaded on by the taunts of Emil Zola, Pierre-Auguste Renoir set out to produce the definitive masterpiece of Impressionism. Over a period of several weeks during that summer Renoir assembled a troupe of friends and models, posing them on the upper terrace of the restaurant La Maison Fournaise overlooking the Seine. The author details both the artistic (such as eliminating the appearance of scene floating in air) and the practical (such as coming up with fourteen rather than thirteen characters) challenges faced by Renoir in producing the huge canvas. Susan Vreeland has written a story of that titled work, Le déjeuner des canotiers, The Luncheon of the Boating Party, that simultaneously captures both the artistic temperament of the Renoir and the personalities of the models in the masterwork. The author skillfully employs a grammar and structure that mimics in words what Impressionism meant to deliver on the canvas. Only toward the end of the book does Vreeland drift occasionally into bits of modern language and political correctness that mars somewhat a text that is otherwise historically and artistically accurate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago