When Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside, she is full of ambition and dreams of stardom. Though young and inexperienced, she manages to find work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge, and it is here that she first catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world.
A brilliant but eccentric artist, Picasso sets his sights on Eva, and Eva can’t help but be drawn into his web. But what starts as a torrid affair soon evolves into what will become the first great love of Picasso’s life.
With sparkling insight and passion, Madame Picasso introduces us to a dazzling heroine, taking us from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of one of the most enigmatic and iconic artists of the twentieth century.
Every so often, a book comes along that has the ability to transport you to another era, to a time that you will only see in pictures, and make it seem so incredibly real that you feel you are actually there. A book that surrounds you with people you’ve only heard about in history books, some you’ve never heard of but feel like you know because they come to life in stunning colour on the pages. A book that makes you feel you’re in places you’ve never been, places you may never be but makes you feel at home anyway. A book that makes you feel a gamut of emotions from start to finish and back again. For me, MADAME PICASSO by Anne Girard is that book.
It’s the end of the Belle Époque era in Paris when Eva and Picasso cross paths – and so begins a love story that, though not lengthy, was so passionate one can feel the heat emanating off the pages. Along with the lovers, there is a fabulous cast of characters that take you from the Moulin Rouge to Gertrude Stein’s salon, many of whom you’ve probably heard of if you’re at all interested in art history. If not, you’ll feel like you know them by the time the story is over.
Every word was a pleasure to read. While the research done for writing the book is apparent, it’s the obvious love for the subject of story that breathes life into every page. Anne Girard’s passion is stunningly put into words and sweeps the reader into a whirlwind of art, love, sex, and heartbreak. I feel great privilege that I was able to read this wonderful book before it was shared with the rest of the world and I want to thank Anne from the bottom of my heart for sending me a copy of the book to review. J’adore!
And for fun, I want to share a picture I took on my recent holiday to Vancouver, BC. Yes, I took Madame Picasso with me and yes, that IS the actual Iron Throne from Game of Thrones. The book deserves a throne…