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Luncheon of the boating party
Vreeland, Susan.
Adult Fiction VREELAN

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From 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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

One of the most significant paintings of the impressionist period is Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party, and it's hard to imagine that a novel could do it justice. Yet this new work from Vreeland (Girl in Hyacinth Blue) does just that. She opens with an agitated Renoir eager to respond to criticism from Emile Zola, of all people, that the Impressionists have yet to produce a work of genius measuring up to their claims. Prodded by Alphonsine, whose family owns a restaurant on the river near his mother's home in Louveciennes, Renoir conceives a masterwork that will truly capture la vie moderne. He will depict a group of canotiers, or boaters, enjoying a festive lunch on the restaurant's veranda. Then he's off to collect models: Alphonsine, of course, and her brother; the painter Gustave Caillebotte; an actress and a model he has loved; and more. Vreeland weaves together their stories in unaffected prose that at first seems too modest for the painting it describes. In the end, she creates a profoundly moving portrait of the creative process and of a community of people who came together for a moment to help create one great work.] Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/07.]--Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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