“L’Origine got me hooked—what a story! Milgrom brings the reader right along on her adventures as a copyist of one of the most well-known paintings in all the world.” —Harriet Welty Rochefort, author of French Fried, French Toast, Joie de Vivre, and Final Transgression
The riveting odyssey of one of the world’s most scandalous works of art.
In 1866, maverick French artist Gustave Courbet painted one of the most iconic images in the history of art: a sexually explicit portrait of a woman’s exposed genitals. Audaciously titled L’Origine du monde (The Origin of the World), the scandalous painting was kept hidden for a century and a half. Today, it hangs in the world-renowned Orsay Museum in Paris, viewed by millions of visitors a year.
As the first artist authorized by the Orsay Museum to re-create Courbet’s The Origin of the World, author Lilianne Milgrom was thrust into the painting’s intimate orbit, spending six weeks replicating every fold, crevice, and pubic hair. The experience inspired her to share her story and the painting’s riveting clandestine history with readers beyond the confines of the art world.
L’Origine is an entertaining and superbly researched work of historical fiction that traces the true story of the painting’s unlikely tale of survival, replete with French revolutionaries, Turkish pashas, and nefarious Nazi captains. But L’Origine is more than a riveting romp through history—it also sheds light on society’s complex relationship with the female body.
|Publisher:||Girl Friday Books|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
About the Author
Internationally acclaimed artist Lilianne Milgrom was born in Paris, grew up in Australia, and currently resides in the United States. Milgrom holds two degrees from Melbourne University and an associate art degree from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. She exhibits her artwork around the world and is the recipient of multiple awards. In 2011, she became the first authorized copyist of Gustave Courbet’s controversial painting L’Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World), which hangs in the Orsay Museum in Paris and draws over a million visitors a year. After rendering a near-identical copy of Courbet’s masterpiece, she spent close to a decade researching and writing L’Origine. She lives in the greater Washington, DC, area with her husband while her grown children explore the world. L’Origine is her first book.