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Picturing a World

Malade

When Amy returns from Pont Aven to find that Sonja has brought La Grecque and Angelica into their studio, she makes the best of what she considers a bad situation by insisting that the model earn her keep by posing. The idea of Amy’s unflinching desire to take advantage of the chance to study a sick woman’s appearance was suggested to me by several 19th C paintings of sick beds or death beds. The most haunting case, which Carolus-Duran recounts to Jeanette later in the novel, was Monet’s oil sketch of his wife, Camille, in the hour after her death.

For an earlier post, click here.

For Carolus-Duran’s own painting of a convalescent, click here.

For an exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay devoted to the portrayal of sufferers on their deathbeds in Western art, click here.
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