The summer reading program at my local library asks readers to review books they’ve read. So here is a book I wrote about.
The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan.
The story is an imagined one (I believe) about the real girl who was the model for Degas’ sculpture, “The Little Dancer.” It brings us into the unexpectedly harsh and desperate world of the poor in late 19th C. Paris.
The ballet dancers who fill Degas’ paintings are mostly poor, always hungry and scraping for every sou they can get. And then there are the wealthy men who “sponsor” them. Luckily Degas is not one of the creeps, although he seems fairly gruff, and cold.
Regardless, Degas is still one of my favorite artists and his artwork has always been a strong inspiration for my work. And I like the idea that the author looked at the artwork and created back stories for the characters that populate Degas’ paintings.
“The Little Dancer” was the inspiration for the cover art I did a few years ago for Random House’s “The Very Little Princess.” Here is the underpainting, and final artwork.