Paris in the time of the Impressionists is a place fueled by power, wealth and sex. This is the story of Victorine Laurent, whose beauty, ambition and intelligence catapult her out of poverty into a successful career as courtesan and artist’s muse. She is a composite of two fascinating women of that time, Manet’s model, Victorine Meurent and the tempestuous courtesan, the Countess of Castiglione.

When seventeen year old Victorine Laurent arrives in Paris from the provinces, she is introduced to the iconoclastic young painter, Edouard Manet, the first Impressionist. She is suddenly thrust into his milieu of social, economic and artistic upheaval. She gains fame as his model and attracts the attention and interest of the powerful Philippe de Lyon, advisor to Napoleon III. Over the course of eight years, her tumultuous relationship with Manet and her rise in the ranks of Parisian society as the mistress of Philippe de Lyon lead her to the profound discovery of who she really is and what she truly wants from life.

The setting for this tale may be 1860’s Paris in the Second Empire, but the terror of political enemies, the ambitious pursuit of wealth, the jealousy of romantic rivals, the journey of personal discovery are eternal verities for every era.

Podcast Interview with Debra Finerman by Allan Hunkin
"Written Voices"

 


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