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Picturing a World

Paris street light

The absence of the Luxor obelisk, which was erected at the Place de la Concorde and opened to the public in 1836, and the long coats and top hats of the men suggest that Vauzelle painted this picture, when? ca. 1830? Anyway, what really interests me is that lantern strung over the road, presumably an oil  Read More 
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Marie-François Firmin-Girard

Blog post alert:> Thanks to a post at Line and Colors for introducing me to Marie-François Firmin-Girard. I love finding pictures that I might have used for Where the Light Falls had I come upon them in time.  Read More 
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Children in the Luxembourg Garden

A post on Children in the Summer Park at the blog, It’s About Time, alerted me to a painting I’ve been searching for without being able to remember the artist’s name—Albert Edelfelt. Itwas this painting that first gave me the idea  Read More 
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Female gaze

Blog tip: Sunday post at the always interesting Lines and Colors, sent me to Spanish painter Ramon Casas, who studied with
Carolus-Duran
at about the  Read More 
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Paris panoroama

Website tip: Wheeeee! For a 360° panorama of Paris in high resolution, click here.
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Paris in Mourning

As we all try to absorb the implications of last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, it seems fair for each of us to dwell with love on the aspects of the city and the people that mean the most to us. Paris has had a bloody, violent history yet who can deny its  Read More 
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Banlieues

By the time her train reaches Paris, Jeanette is feeling scared, and this moody photograph helped me think about what was outside the window as the day darkened. Baron Haussmann’s remaking of Paris not only changed the physical look of the city, but also distorted  Read More 
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Learning by blogging

To complement Bellows’ Steaming Trains, I was looking for one of Hassam’s American urban landscapes when I came across this image of Paris. Aha! One of the Wallace water fountains I didn’t know about until this summer. Well, well.

My experience is that you don't leave a fictional world behind even after you finish a story. Things keep reminding you of it and adding to your understanding of characters, setting, and motives. And there’s nothing like blogging to make you bring together bits of this and that! Read More 
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Wallace water fountains

Writers of historical fiction are susceptible to what someone called “research rapture,” elation over trivia. It may be just as well that I did not know about Wallace water fountains when I wrote Where the Light Falls or I might have gleefully included one whether it was needed or not.

A recent BBC piece on impoverished Britons in France alerted me to the existence of these public drinking fountains.  Read More 
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Henri’s Jardin du Luxembourg

After Jeanette completes Edward's portrait, they walk to the Luxembourg Garden. This painting of it by Robert Henri is reproduced in Barbara Weinberg’s book, The Lure of Paris:Nineteenth-Century American Painters and Their French Teachers (1991), my real introduction to the whole topic of an American woman studying art in Paris. Consequently, although the picture was painted twenty years after the action of my novel and in a later style, its vividness has been with me all along. Read More 
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