Saturday, July 17, 2010

Such very good friends! -- life among the impressionists

Here is the young Renoir curled up in a chair in his good pal Frederic Bazille's studio. One of the reasons I was compelled to write Claude and Camille: a novel of Monet was my fascination for the friendship among these then utterly unknown artists, particularly in the 1860s and 1870s when Monet had likely never heard of a water lily; he was fortunate to have a humble potted plant in the rooms he lived in! The young impressionists (who had never heard the word impressionists then either) slept on each others floors, painted the same model side by side, scrounged paint and scraped down canvases and shared dreams. It is interesting to me that often a creative person rises in a creative group. A fascinating nonfiction book is the Private Lives of the Impressionists. And a tender novel about Renoir which I recommended some months ago is Susan Vreeland's Luncheon of the Boating Party. Both capture the unique friendship of these talented men and women.


  1. I'm in the middle of Vreeland's LUNCHEON, and it's fantastic! I love reading about artist/ writer/ musician circles of friends throughout history.

  2. "Poverty is a great preserver."

    Because Monet had little money he designed his own garden at Giverny.

    I've come to call this The Poverty Cycle. Soooooooo important to the best landscapes.

    Do you know the shade of blue Monet had his gardeners wear? Read in a book, can't remember which one, that Monet only let his gardeners wear blue shirts so they wouldn't disrupt his views in the garden.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  3. beautiful blog..pls visit mine and be a follower.. thanks and God bless..

  4. Thank you for having this blog.

    We came across it, oddly enough, by click "Next Blog". Fortunately, it seems Blogger keeps it in the same general catagory...we came via an artist friend's blog. :-)

    We look forward to continued entries.