• Pro Review
  • Discovery Awards

Publisher:
N/A

Publication Date:
N/A

Copyright Date:
N/A

ISBN:
N/A

Binding:
Paperback

U.S. SRP:
N/A

L’ORIGINE: The Secret Life of the World’s Most Erotic Masterpiece

By Lilianne Milgrom

IR_Star-black
IR Rating:
5.0
For fans of historical fiction focused on the world’s great artworks, L’ORIGINE delivers a story spiced with famous names, mystery, and sex. Author and visual artist Lilianne Milgrom carries readers along on this painting’s colorful journey, with a deliciously gleeful mix of fact and fiction that is very satisfying. 

Readers are introduced to Courbet’s painting L’Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World) in the prologue to L’ORIGINE: The Secret Life of the World’s Most Erotic Masterpiece by author and artist Lilianne Milgrom, who received permission to become a copyist at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris for the single purpose of copying this work. Courbet was as much a talented businessman as artist and this singular work was created as a very private commission for a wealthy Turkish diplomat. With brains, talent, and ambition, Courbet notoriously flouted the societal norms in the Paris of the mid 1800s, and even his collectors agreed that “gossip and scandal followed him like stray dogs.” But the staying power of artists such as Courbet are proven by the art they left behind and in this work he created a painting that was like nothing anyone had seen before.

As expertly detailed by Milgrom, during its one hundred thirty-year journey from Courbet’s hand to its final museum home, it is passed from male owner to male owner, all bewitched beyond reason by it. For some, it was more of a curse than a blessing. For others, it was nothing more than an erotic pleasure. But for a few, the beautifully rendered painting it was a depiction of all that is love and hope, even sacred; indeed, the origin of humanity itself. L’ORIGINE is well-paced and very well researched. The author’s beautiful, generous prose about Paris and other settings is much like a verbal impressionist painting. Famous names abound and it is fascinating to imagine conversations between, for example, Monet and a reluctant art dealer of his day who still isn’t sure about investing in this ‘new impressionism.’  There is, of course, a corollary between this particular piece of art being passed between wealthy men and the similar fate suffered by countless women. But Milgrom reveals these men as complex characters, not so easily judged. Even so, the male gaze is on full display in its spectrum of desires, wanting to own the female form in the abstract as well as the corporeal.

For fans of historical fiction focused on the world’s great artworks, L’ORIGINE delivers a story spiced with famous names, mystery, and sex. Author and visual artist Lilianne Milgrom carries readers along on this painting’s colorful journey, with a deliciously gleeful mix of fact and fiction that is very satisfying.

~Kath Peters for IndieReader

Publisher:
N/A

Publication Date:
N/A

Copyright Date:
N/A

ISBN:
N/A

Binding:
Paperback

U.S. SRP:
N/A

L’ORIGINE: The Secret Life of the World’s Most Erotic Masterpiece

By Lilianne Milgrom

L’ORIGINE is a historical fiction novel based on the controversial painting of female genitalia and the often occurring hypocrisy and duality surrounding female sexuality and nudity. This imaginative tale is spun by Lilianne Milgrom, the only artist thus far to ever be granted permission to paint a copy of the infamous masterpiece. Besides being a work of art history, research, and fiction, the narrative is also a commentary on the evolution of how the female body has (or hasn’t) been viewed, portrayed, or appreciated in art and culture.

L’ORIGINE is a 2021 Discovery Awards winner in the Fiction category. See Lilianne Milgrom’s acceptance speech here and learn more about this remarkable book.