L’Origine by Lilianne Milgrom Review is here.
I was so excited when the author contacted me to feature this book because I was very intrigued by the title, L’Origine. My first thought was…what is this book about? In short, it is a mix of historical fiction and biography. It centers around Gustave Courbet’s explicit painting ‘L’Origine du Monde.’ It is probably the most erotic masterpiece of the entire 19th century, and the one painting Lilianne couldn’t take her eyes off when she visited Paris.
Lilianne, an artist herself, grew intrigued by this painting that draws millions of visitors to Paris’ Orsay Museum yearly. The unique part of this book is Lilanne’s perspective on society’s attitude towards female nudity. We get taken through Lilanne’s journey of painting a copy of this painting in six weeks and how it stayed with her even as she returned to the states. She spent a decade reading everything about this painting’s history, and it is what inspired her to set the painting as a backdrop to her historical and biographical book.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I admit, at first, I was hesitant about how this book would lay out with it being based around a painting and the author’s own story within it. However, I enjoyed it!! The mix of art history in this book was written beautifully and how Author Lillianne Milgrom interwove it with the historical backdrop was brilliant. The sheer amount of research that went into crafting this novel by the author was admirable and definitely paid off. You can see how well Lillianne knows her story when you read the book, making the writing shine through the pages. If you are looking for something different in the historical genre, this needs to be your next book pick!
Internationally acclaimed artist and author LILIANNE MILGROM was born in Paris, grew up in Australia, and currently resides in the United States. She exhibits her artwork around the world and is the recipient of multiple awards and residencies. In 2011, she became the first artist authorized to copy one of the most shocking paintings in the history of art – Gustave Courbet’s sexually explicit ‘L’Origine du Monde’ (The Origin of the World), which hangs in the Orsay Museum in Paris. Her experience inspired her to spend close to a decade researching and writing ‘L’Origine: The secret life of the world’s most erotic masterpiece‘. L’Origine is her first book.
Note: Author Lilianne Milgrom provided the author biography, author photo, and the novel.