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Picturing a World

Yellow silk jacket

Blog tip: Ordinarily, I like to showcase female artists, but this painting of a contemplative woman reader is so lovely, I refer you to the post on it at Lines and Colors. The artist, William McGregor Paxton (1869–1941), is yet another American who studied at the Académie Julian in Paris—and he, not only had the good taste to marry Elizabeth Vaughan Okie, but worked with her as part of the Boston School of painters. She may have posed for this picture. (And my fictional Mattie might have seen it!)
 

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Critiques

Harold Harvey, who studied at the Académie Julian, was a second-generation painter at England’s Newlyn art colony in Cornwall. Although this painting is from a later period than the heyday of the  Read More 

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Breslau’s milliners

Louise Catherine Breslau was a star student at the Académie Julian at the time during which Where the Light Falls is set. She does not play a role in the novel, but it was like coming across an old friend  Read More 

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Beaury-Saurel’s cigarette

In the latter 19th C, polite society considered it a sign of shocking Bohemianism for women to smoke. Now we might not worry about the sitter’s morals, only her health. When Amélie Beaury-Saurel painted this picture, however, she probably meant it as  Read More 

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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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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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Grand Central Station

When I saw this image of Colin Campbell Cooper’s Grand Central Station, my first thought was not that it might be helpful for ANONMITY, despite the 1909 date. Instead, the picture instantly recalled Claude Monet’s paintings of the Gare Saint-Lazare, which did inform Where the Light Falls.  Read More 
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Florence Fuller

Terri Windling’s Myth & Moor is a great source of inspiration for writers, readers, and lovers of images related to the mythopoeia. Her August 26th post on Children, reading, and Tough Magic is trove of pictures of children reading and quotations on the value of fantasy stories. It also brought my attention another of Jeanette’s younger contemporaries who studied at the Académie Julian—Florence Fuller (1867–1946). Born in South Africa, Fuller is classed as an Australian artist; for although she studied in Paris and spent time in England and India, she grew up in Australia and her most productive years were spent there. Her work is collected primarily in Australian museums. In 1905, she became a Theosophist, a reminder to me that the occult was a part of the world around my heroines Jeanette and Mattie (though not, I think, of much interest to either of them). Read More 
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Leyendecker at the Académie Julian

Blog tip: Yesterday’s Gurney Journey post lets you read what J. C. Leyendecker, a Golden Age illustrator, had to say about the Académie Julian. For an interesting article on Leyendecker as a gay artist who defined images of the American male, click hereRead More 
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Winter in New York

Given the recent snow and ice here in the Northeast, I’ve been thinking about why books set in winter appeal. Even though the action of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is directed toward delivering Narnia from the grip of the White Witch, it’s the snow you remember, the  Read More 
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