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This book depicts Renoir s efforts to create one his most famous Impressionist paintings It was our book club selection so I stuck with it to the end though I found almost any excuse I could to repeatedly put the book down and do other things house cleaning, laundry, weeding, washing my hair It is over 400 pages long and should have been shortened to about 100 I found it difficult to care about any of the characters, except perhaps Alphonsine, and that was maringal Much of the dialogue was boring and insipid and the author s frequent use of French vocabulary, which I did not understand was frustrating, as was constantly having to look at the picture on the book cover to follow her reference to characters in the scene The best thing I can say about it is I am so glad I am done with it Uncle At pg 162 of a 429 pg book and have found little to no inspiration to continue I don t remember thinking much of Vreeland s [Download E-pub] ⚈ Luncheon of the Boating Party ♡ 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 Caf 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 This book is excellent What exactly does that mean I guess that puts it between very good and amazing Why is it short of amazing It is hard to feel an emotional connection to a group of about twenty characters First you have to get to know all of them The further you read into the story the attached the reader feels for the numerous characters There is not one character that is bland Each has an interesting story to tell Still there are just too many, and this being a book of historical fiction the author had to stick to the facts I am glad she stuck to the facts There is an author s note at the end that carefully points out what is unknown and where Vreeland has filled in with her own imagination, but based on thorough research Half way through I checked out internet I just could not wait to the end to know all The title of this book and its theme is one painting by Auguste Renoir Le D jeuner des Canotiers or in English The Luncheon of the Boating Party The French link at Wiki is in fact better than the English, so I have included both French am not going to repeat the details about this marvelous painting, today part of the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C It was painted in 1880 1881 What this book does is accurately and interestingly show you how the picture came into being, how each model was chosen All were in fact Renoir s friends, some so than others The painting contains fourteen figures One is an unknown either Renoir himself or Guy de Maupassant Each of these figures is depicted You learn of their personalities, their quirks and talents, their occupations, their history and even what happens to them after the completion of the painting It covers Parisian life, in the 1880s and the Franco Prussian War and the Siege of Paris Why this Well because this war shaped these people The book also covers Impressionism How it began and changed and where it was at this date And of course the Salon des Beaux Arts, the official exhibition organized by the Acad mie des Beaux Arts, the traditional art forum still firmly established All of the competing artists are discussed The future of Impressionism was up for grabs How are paintings to be sold Through the Salon or by private art dealers The text is not dry and it does NOT read as a text book You learn of artisans life in Montmartre, models and actresses and art dealers and f tes I adored these descriptions There is a wonderful description of the yearly boat races held at the island of Chatou, in the Seine outside Paris, but that is part of the story so you must read the book for that There are love affairs and jousts and competitions and dancing on barges at night and abortions and even a duel You learn about what motivated Renoir You learn of his future wife and even a bit about the years after the painting, old age and death Some of the lines are as pretty as the picture itself This book is interesting and it is engaging A remarkable piece of historical fiction It is my favorite title by this author The narration by Karen White was not good This book should have been narrated by someone who really knows French Let s just leave it at that Otherwise, if it were not for the terrible French I think I might have liked the narration That might mean that you will not be upset if you don t know how French should sound. What would they become she wondered What has he glimpsed in us to lay over that vast white land Us Nous She said the word aloud, dropping off the s, a kind of lowing The exhilaration she had felt yesterday surged again She was part of something 113 Luncheon of the Boating Party, Susan VreelandSusan Vreeland s Luncheon of the Boating Party was published in 2007 and is 434 pages I read it on Stephanie Cowell s recommendation after finishing and loving her novel about Monet, Claude and Camille What has ensued for me is a new obsession with impressionist art, and another new, favorite author.At forty, Auguste Renoir still lives the life of a starving artist and bachelor struggling to make a name for himself and to translate his intense passions into sustenance Frustration from recent art criticism and inspiration from a balcony at La Maison Fournaise become the perfect recipe for his idea an intense, colorful, vibrant portrayal of his friends on a Sunday, following lunch, relaxing in the warmth of each others company la vie modern.Vreeland s cast of characters are the people in the painting In a detailed, and beautifully written narrative, she depicts Renoir s difficulties assembling a group of models, finding money to pay them and buy materials, and dealing with his self doubt, friendships, loves, and losses.Central to the painting is Alphonsine, the daughter of the owner of the restaurant where the scene takes place Her quiet encouragement of the painter and his subjects, and her repeated thrill of being a part of something, Nous, run like a gentle current in the book, even reaching out to include the reader.When I finished Luncheon, I went online and found that the original painting is part of the Phillips Collection in Washington, D C., less than an hour from my home I look forward to the day when I may stand in front of the painting, with Renoir s work in front of me and Vreeland s words with me, and feel a part of Nous Something A shared moment in time that continues on.If you love art or historical fiction, I highly recommend this book. I really wanted to like this book BUT it was over written, much too long, too much flowery description trying to convey the thoughts and feelings of an artist came across to me as melodramatic and artificial.I am an artist I am a coloristbut enough already describing the mixing of every color.I finished the book and endured some of the unnecessary subplots Paris is my favorite city I enjoyed the historical references I learned what I wanted to know about the concept for the painting and the people in the scene but was really disappointed with the execution of the story.In the author s notes at the end, I was glad to have learned that the author tried to include as many facts as possible in the telling. For our book club this month we were asked to pick a book by Susan Vreeland and read it I picked Luncheon of the Boating Party because 1 it is based on a painting I love and 2 it takes place just outside of Paris I didn t know much about Renoir before I read this book, but now I think I could write his biography.Renoir sets out to challenge Zola s thought that the Impressionist painters were finished creatively when he decides to bring thirteen oh, how he longs to find a fourteenth friend to offset the negative image of a contemporary Last Supper of his friends to the country and have them pose for what he hopes will be his masterwork This book tells his story, as well as the stories of his friends and the story of the France of his day and his fellow painters of his time Every sentence in the book reflects the author s intensive research you can t help but learn a lot from reading this book. I don t usually like reading novels portraying real people It s hard for me to invest in the author s version of them I keep wanting to exchange fictionalized versions for actual biographies memoirs so I can come to my own understanding of who they were.That said, I really enjoyed this novel once I got over the initial hump It was so saturated with the sense of sunlight and joyful atmosphere of impressionist artwork I felt myself tasting the meals along with the characters, feeling a breeze coming off the river while they posed, admiring the colors and textures of the clothes they brought to the cafe where they ate and drank and laughed and flirted and posed I really enjoyed learning about the lives of the individual models you rarely hear the stories of artists models, especially the lower class ones who existed in a semi legal twilight world and left few records of their lives I would happily read a biography of each of them they re all real people to me and I care about what happened to them now I was rooting for their happiness by the end especially that of Alphonsine I m happy so many books are mentioned in the references so I can keep spending time in this world I wish I could step through a Renoir painting and join the characters for an afternoon this spring It s a perfect season to read this book. Pierre August Renoir was struggling financially in 1880, reduced to painting portraits of upper class women but wanting to work on a satisfying project He decided to paint Luncheon of the Boating Party , a large painting worthy of being hung in the prestigious Salon Renoir gathered up his friends and acquaintances to pose on a series of Sunday afternoons on the terrace of a restaurant along the Seine Renoir wanted to depict people enjoying life in a beautiful location He felt committed to Impressionism, but did not want to follow some of the newer Impressionists who were depicting the miserable, seedier side of life.French society was in transition ten years after the Franco Prussian War with time for leisure, and modern ways of expression Some war veterans and a war widow were among the models for Renoir s masterpiece The descriptions of painting were very sensual with Renoir declaring, I only want to paint women I love, or imagine I could love Several of the models had a romantic interest in the artist, including the woman who would eventually become his wife.A cross section of society is shown in the book from the wealthy women entertaining at their afternoon salons to the performers of the Folies Bergere to the poor prostitutes of Montmartre People are seen working and boating along the Seine The only sections of the book that seemed overly long were the descriptions of two afternoons of boat races Overall, this was an excellent work of historical fiction that transported the reader to the arts community in 1880s Paris. I love historical fiction and I was really intrigued when I found this book Unfortunately, I was disappointed The premise of a book set in bohemian Paris which delves into the lives and conversations of Renoir and the models for his famous painting was irresistable While Vreeland s research is impressive and provides a lot of detail, it is done in a slow and awkward way The book provided insight into Renoir s thought process and what it was like to be an impressionist painter I also found her depiction of other artists of the time and the rivalry interaction to be interesting The painting has always seemed so alive to me with a great story to tell The book just never reaches the point of great storytelling Some parts are interesting, but it was actually a struggle to finish To me, there is too much insignificant background and detail without enough character and story development I would have been better served by an art history lesson and left to my own imaginings about the people and events of the boating party.p