rivalry between artists

  • Book: Painted Ladies
  • Location: Paris
  • Author: Lynn Bushell

Review Author: JSAauthor



This historical fiction novel is about the relationships between artist Pierre Bonnard, his muse and long-time companion Marthe, and a new model he ends up falling in love with, Renee. Though it is fiction, all three characters are heavily based on the real artist, his wife, and a rival model.

The story takes place in Paris during and just after World War I. The reader sees glimpses of warn-torn Paris, but there is very little description of place. Most of the story takes places in the heads of Renee and Marthe, and as such is a more of a psychological analysis of the rivalry between models than anything else.

We do learn about Bonnard’s competitive relationships with other important artists working in Paris – such as Roussel and Picasso – and their attitudes towards their models.
As a whole, the book is an interesting exploration of jealousy, love, and revenge, framed within the artist-model relationship.

Many thanks to TripFiction for sending me this ARC copy.

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