NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Saturday, March 21, 2009

LUNCHEON OF THE BOATING PARTY

by Susan Vreeland



Remember when I was discussing "narrative" and how we tend to look for the story in nearly everything we see? This book is a perfect example of that! It is the story behind Renoir's famous painting entitled, of course, "Luncheon of the Boating Party", pictured here:


The models are real people, and Susan Vreeland has taken known facts about their lives and the life of Renoir, mixed in some literary license for depth, and has created her own masterpiece. Experiencing the summer of 1880 France with this group of such diverse characters reminded me a lot of Fitzgerald's depictions of the Roaring 20's in the U.S., young, vivacious people living their days with gusto, certain they will someday take the world by storm.

Luncheon of the Boating Party is not a book I would have even picked up if it hadn't been for the Art History Reading Challenge. That's the beauty of the Reading Challenges. We stretch our boundaries and sometimes come up with gems like this one.

To see more information about the book and the history of the painting, see Susan Vreeland's Official Site.



16 comments:

zetor said...

I like that one, I may read it for Art History Challenge too, thanks for sharing.

Lezlie said...

Zetor ~ It is really good! I have my eye on another one of hers for this challenge also. I think this is the most difficult challenge for me to come up with books for, because it is so different from my usual fare.

Lezlie

Dar said...

How interesting. The painting is certainly amazing. I'll have to take a peek at her site.

Katherine said...

I enjoyed this one, too!

Jo-Jo said...

I'm glad you liked this one Lezlie, it caught my eye a year or so ago. It is a beautiful picture!

Carrie K. said...

I've got this one on my list for the Art History challenge, too- I have loved all of Vreeland's stuff that I've read so far.

Marg said...

I really enjoyed this one when I read it last year!

Lezlie said...

Dar ~ This one seems like something you would like.

Katherine ~ It was hard not to get involved in the story. I wanted Auguste to end up with Alphonsine. She was so nice!

Jo-Jo ~ I'm not much into art, but I find myself all kinds of curious about impressionism now after reading this.

Carrie ~ That's good to hear! I think I'm going to read The Passion of Artimis this summer.

Marg ~ Who was your favorite character? There were so many good ones!

Lezlie

Ladytink_534 said...

Love this painting! Wonder if I can go find a really large version...

Lezlie said...

Ladytink ~ You can find a larger version on Wikipedia, I think. It's really something else to look at closely!

Lezlie

Terri said...

Oh good - glad to hear you liked this so much. I have it on my shelf - it was one of those spontaneous buys after reading her book The Forest Lover and liking it. Will move it up the stack a bit!

Lezlie said...

Terri ~ I've actually thought about buying it just to have for my personal collection. I'm looking forward to reading another by her in the future.

Lezlie

Kim said...

I read this book when I was visiting Washington DC because I planned to see it at the Phillips Collection. It is a beautiful painting. I bought a large postcard of the painting which was handy to have when reading the book.

Lezlie said...

Kim ~ I kept looking at the painting, too! I was amazed at how well the author captured the details.

Lezlie

Booklogged said...

This wasn't my favorite Vreeland. I did learn some things tho. May have just been a bad time for me.

Lezlie said...

Booklogged ~ It wasn't a book that held one's attention with any intensity. I think it is one that a person would have to be in the mood for.

Lezlie