rivalry between artists
- Book: Painted Ladies
- Location: Paris
- Author: Lynn Bushell
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.