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Picturing a World

Lunch at the Académie Julian

How I am looking forward to the upcoming exhibit, Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 at the Clark Art Institute! I am fond of saying that writing historical fiction forces a novelist to ask different questions from those of historians, even cultural historians. For instance, where did a woman  Read More 

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Botticelli, Three Graces

Just for the fun of it, the Botticelli fresco seen in the previous two posts!

Now consider this: A fresco of female mythological figures is shown in two paintings that also include a woman copyist. The first is by a man and shows the copyist off to one side; the second is by a  Read More 

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Azambre vs. Goeneutte

Website tip: As a follow-up to yesterday’s post Étienne Azambre, check out Gale Murray's review of the Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 exhibition in the on-line journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide. Along with many other images, it contains Goeneutte’s 1892 painting of Desboutin and his male friends in front of the same fresco at the Louvre that  Read More 

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Étienne Azambre

At a lecture in advance of the Clark Art Institute’s upcoming show, Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 (June 9–Spetember 3, 2018) I learned about this painting by Étienne Azambre (1859–1933). Azambre was an almost exact contemporary of the real Jeanette and studied at the Académie Julian from 1879 to 1882 in the studio of Adolphe William Bouguereau and Tony Robert-Fleury, where I place my fictional Jeanette. Wish I had known about her in time! Read More 

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Monet by Carolus-Duran

Website tip: I've just run across this drawing of Claude Monet by Carolus-Duran, which is up for sale. They were friends, and it's fun to see that they posed for each other informally. I suspect both would be astonished (and flattered?) at the asking price of $26,000!

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Sororis Club

Blog post tip: In Where the Light Falls, I invented a private supper club for my women artists. With my eye turned now toward New York City and woman’s suffrage, it is fascinating to read about the feminist Sorosis Club’s first lunch at public restaurant, Delmonico’s.

For a digitization of an 1893 article about the club in Cosmopolitan Magazine, click hereRead More 

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Marie Cazin’s quarried stone

Blog post tip: Stone Yard in a post on Marie Cazin at Beside the Easel brought touch and texture to mind: this is an easier sense to put into words than smell—though wouldn’t it be good to capture the smell as well as the feel of rough-cut stone in the sun? Read More 

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Putto checks Galileo

My intention has been to write a series of posts on the physical senses—sight, sound, taste, feel, smell—how we experience them, how they combine, and how writers can make better use of them in evoking the living world. But you know the story: it's been a busy week. Then this little guy  Read More 

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