Since today is April 1, I was tempted to do an April Fools… but that seemed unkind.
So, instead, I’m kicking off a series of posts about my upcoming stand alone novel, That Summer. (Coming to a bookstore near you on June 3, 2014!)
That Summer goes back and forth between 2009, when my modern heroine inherits an old house in a suburb of London, and 1849, in the early days of the Preraphaelite movement. As you can imagine, there was plenty of visual inspiration for this novel!
For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some of the artwork that inspired the paintings in the novel.
When my modern heroine moves into the house at Herne Hill, she’s struck by a portrait of a woman on the wall of the drawing room.
Here’s the (real life) painting that best approximates that portrait:
The real life painting is the Portrait of a Young Woman (1849) by Sophie Fremiet-Rude.
In my version, it’s the portrait of Imogen Grantham, by a mysterious artist named Gavin Thorne….
The eerie bit? When I wrote the section describing the portrait in the novel (and this portrait plays a rather large role in the novel), I hadn’t seen the Fremiet-Rude painting. Later, when I was searching for images of women from 1849 for a blog post, I stumbled upon this painting and was struck by just how much it fit my image of the portrait of Imogen.
There are some minor differences, of course: Imogen is wearing a dark blue dress in my picture, and she’s painted outside, sitting on the bench of a summer house. But her face, her hair, her pose, and her expression could not be more on point.
Don’t you love it when real life echoes fiction?
Coming up next week, I have some rather gorgeous Preraphaelite paintings to share as That Summer in Pictures continues….