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New Renoir-themed novel comes out tomorrow!

New Renoir-themed novel comes out tomorrow!

Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:50 PM
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New Renoir-themed novel comes out tomorrow!

Francophile reading alert: Susan Vreeland's new book, The Luncheon of the Boating Party, will be released tomorrow (Thurs May 3rd). She explores the creation of Renoir's painting by telling the story not just of Renoir but all of the models (whose identities are historically known). Looks like a great book to take along on a trip!

Vreeland is the author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue and The Passion of Artemisia--both wonderful. She's an exemplary writer who researches her material thoroughly.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:54 PM
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Oh goodie! Thanks for the heads-up.I loved her first two books.

And yet another reason to go back to have lunch at the Maison Fournaise!
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:57 PM
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Another one who is a fan of her and the book. I have a list somewhere who is in th painting.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:59 PM
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I didn't know the Maison Fournaise still existed until I read about it on her website (she's got a comprehensive section on the new book). I'm going to have to check that out in a few weeks!
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 05:11 PM
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The pretty girl leaning on the balcony is Fournaise's daughter and the large guy on the left was his son. There's a woman whose face is obscured and as I recall it is a model who posed for Degas's Absinthe drinker.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 05:17 PM
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My daughter and I actually ate at the Renoir table at La Fournaise in August 2001. Unfortunately, it was a blustery day, but it was still atmospheric.

The food was pedestrian, but, of course, we did not go for that.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 05:20 PM
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The painting is, by the way, at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. It is one of Washington's jewels missed by most tourists with limited time who concentrate on the Smithsonian Museums on The Mall.

The Phillips is privately own and has an entrance fee. In prior years, the Renoir was buried deep inside the museum. Now it is closer to the entrance if those of you with limited time do not have time for the entire museum. However, if you do not spend a couple of hours at The Phillips, you will miss quite a bit.

Metro is Dupont Circle. Get off the NORTH side. The museum is a little over a block a way--a very short walk.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 05:27 PM
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I was there the last time two years ago and the food was very good. Should you be there in March or September, Chatou wher Fournaise is located has a wonderful flea with ham market.
Made famous by the Impressionists, the pretty Seine island of Chatou was immortalised by Renoir. Twice a year, in March and September, it plays host to a grand antique fair named La Foire au Jambon (Ham Fair), where some 400 dealers display their wares alongside a gourmet food fair.
Wrap up warm, or alternatively be sure to burn some calories feasting here and there on Alsatian ham, foie gras from south-western France and Savoyard cheeses, while browsing aisle after aisle of stalls. The first two days of the gastronomic event are for professionals only, after that, the fair opens to the public.
Overview
Visitor InformationTourist Offices
Event details can change.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 05:37 PM
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We thought the food at Maison Fournaise was very good.

There's a "replica" of the painting (about the same size) on a wall at La Ferme Saint-Simon restaurant in the 7th featuring the owners and their friends.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 06:41 PM
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Susan Vreeland is doing a special signing at the Phillips Collection. She's actually got a number of appearances scheduled, all listed on her website. (But none in Florida, alas!)

Her collection of short stories, "Life Stories," is excellent too.

Ellen Andree is the girl with the glass of water/Degas' absinthe drinker. This figure is also famous from being mentioned in "Amelie"! Gustave Caillebotte, another Imp. painter, is the fellow in the straw hat down front, the one facing to the left.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 06:46 PM
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Yes, but Caillebotte looks nothing like that.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 06:51 PM
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His most famous painting is "Raint Day in Paris." Mine is the "floor scappers."
Seeing the light on their backs when you look at this painting is amazing, to me, anyway.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 06:52 PM
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http://www.canvasreplicas.com/Caillebotte.htm
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 06:59 PM
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More Caillebotte trivia: he was the first owner of Renoir's Moulin de la Galette and many of the Impressionist ptngs in the Orsay. He was rich and liked to help his friends (which explains why Renoir gave him a seat down front in the Luncheon, I guess!).

I love Caillebotte's work. I think him terribly underappreciated. I like his "Pont de l'Europe" and he has a nice view of rooftops at the Orsay. Paris: A Rainy Day is in the survey text I teach from, so my students just saw it on their final y-day. ;-)
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 07:19 PM
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Thanks to all for the info!
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 07:24 PM
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I too am a huge Caillebotte fan and this his painting of the floor scrapers is an absolute wonder (maybe because 20 years ago I helped my best friend scrape two inches of lacquer off the floors of her NYC loft to prepare it for being a dance studio!).

My lunch at La Maison Fournaise was far from pedestrian. I had langoustines with mayonnaise for an appetizer and magret de canard for the main course, and for the money it was quite delicious.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 09:04 AM
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What I remember from my lunch is that the fish was very dry and nothing special.

I then went to dinner at a friend's home that same day and he served the same fish--and it was much better cooked. Just my experience, of course, but, in my opinion, La Fournaise is a place that you go for the site and not because the food is something to rave about.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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Thanks, DejaVu, for the book information. I loved Girl in Hyacinth Blue and have read it several times. I will look forward to reading this one.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 07:47 AM
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My copy arrived from Amazon y-day afternoon, and I started it last night. It's a winner!!
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:46 AM
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Interesting..... Are her other books also centered around paintings (e.g., Girl in Hyacinth Blue)?

I think I will sample her work first from the public library.
 

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