Katherine Keenum

A blog about how paintings, photographs, and prints have helped me visualize my fiction—both Where the Light Falls and works-in-progress—with a hope that they will stimulate other writers and readers, too.

A small sample of the images that inspired me appears below. Click on these or any images in the posts to see enlargements. In the text, click on colored words to activate links.

Selected Works

An American woman art student meets a Civil War veteran in Belle Époque Paris.


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Picturing a World

Anna Alma-Tadema

June 17, 2017

Tags: blue-and-white china, rooms, women artists

Today at an exhibition, Orchestrating Elegance: Alma-Tadema and Design at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., I saw a reproduction of this watercolor by Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s daughter Anna Alma-Tadema. Another portrait without people! As a novelist, I find these 19th C paintings of unpeopled rooms helpful aids to imagination. The suggest a sensibility but leave me free to imagine my own stories.

Townshend House was Lawrence Alma-Tadema's first home in London; and like Carolus-Duran's studio in Paris, it was meant to express the artist's taste and to interest clients.

For another of his daughter Anna’s watercolors of a room in the house, click here.


  1. June 18, 2017 10:18 AM EDT
    The detail is astounding. The depth perception draws the viewer into the room. It has the feel of a photograph. Both father and daughter are great draftsman to produce the feeling of exploring and walking around these rooms.
    - Patricia Franzino
  2. June 18, 2017 1:06 PM EDT
    Exactly right about the depth perception and drafting! She caught the textures of different materials, too, didn't she? It's a room to explore.
    - Katherine Keenum