"He felt hot with the pressure to get started, and to make it the greatest figure painting of the whole Impressionist movement. ... Figures, landscape, genre subject--all in one. Throw in a still life too. Not just a few figures. A dozen or more, at closer range this time. ... He would use a combination of styles. It would be an experiment. The faces modeled with more classical techniques, one hue blending seamlessly into another, but the landscape and still life in looser, distinct strokes. Every figure, every feature a small painting in and of itself."
This book has so many things in it that I love: Paris, sailing on the Seine, Sunday afternoons on the Ile de Chatou, great art, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and the Impressionists. With her skillful storytelling, Susan Vreeland transports the reader to Paris in the 1880s, capturing the brilliance and struggle of Renoir (one of my favorite Impressionist painters) and depicting the conception and creation of his most famous painting. She really brings Renoir and his friends (who posed for him in this painting) to life. And the way she recreates that time period...it felt like I was there. This is a great read--well-written and interesting. And I loved everything about it! I can't wait to read Vreeland's other books.
|Luncheon of the Boating Party -- Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1881|