John Singer Sargent painting: “Zuleika”. The farce — and artifice — of beauty.

Sargent_John_Singer_Zuleika

Gorgeous, wouldn't you say? It was painted by the 19th Century famous portraitist,  John Singer Sargent. His abstracts were always of friends– usually other artists, such as himself. I wonder if that was because he felt his clients demanded something more meticulous, whereas perhaps these were painted on the fly? His version of toting a camera was to relax with easel, canvas and paints, be it oils or watercolors.

This one is entitled "Zuleika," was completed in 1907, and hangs in the Brooklyn Museum. The name is a genus of moth. It is also Persian in origin, meaning "fair, brilliant, lovely." 

She certainly looks that way, here.

Who was she? The wife of a friend, perhaps? There are a series of poems based on a character by that name. Turns out Sargent was friends with humorist Max Beerbohm, who was working on a contemporary novel by that title, about a woman by that name whose beauty was so great that her merely stepping off a train to visit her grandfather in Oxford caused men to obsess over her — to the point of committing mass suicide.

This Sargent painting and Beerbohm's novel might have been the very first product cross-promotion — multi-platforming in its earliest form. 

More than likely, it was Sargent's way of jibing Beerbohm — payback for the latter's caricutures of the revered painter.

Notice the subject's eyebrows are  just one wave of black paint. Sargent's downward point-of-view is filled with realistic shadowing. The grass is a riot of green, blue and yellow hues which play tricks on the mind: we envision individual blades of grass, and dappled sunlight.

I love that he caught her reading. Is  Proust? Dickens? Baudliere? Possibly The Works of Max Beerbohm.

 Art is fun, and can be funny, too,

— Josie

 


HA-Vacation-to-Die-For-Final

My latest novel is

The Housewife Assassin's
Vacation to Die For

Now out, in

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 Amazon.ca

Pick up the first book in The Housewife Assassin series, for free!

 

Housewife Assassin Donna Stone is back–and here’s what she did for her summer vacation.

HA-Vacation-to-Die-For-Final

IN AMAZON NOW!

In Kobo, Nook, and Apple by August 20, 2013

Read an excerpt here..

A nude sunbathing serial killer, a Lord of the Flies 'tween takeover, poison-dart throwing pygmies……

Talk about a fantasy (nightmare?) island!

An NSA scientist has disappeared with a deadly plague virus. Donna and Jack must find him, before it is unleashed on Fantasy island, home of three very different resorts:

Like Kamp KidStuff, where families frolic among dolphins, cartoon characters, 
and warring gangs of tweens who believe in the law of the jungle–including human sacrifices; 

And Eden Key, a nude singles sanctuary where tiki-hut treehouses provide the perfect setting for rum-fueled romances and casual hook-ups—not to mention the occasional swinger slashing…

Finally, there's the Hunt Club, which allows its members to track a very unique, soon-to-be extinct prey. 

And you call this a vacation?

______________________________________________
To celebrate the launch of 
The Housewife Assassin's Vacation to Die For 
I'm giving away a $100 gift card
 
to ANY store of your choice!

    

 Target-logo

Squeeee! Want a free sneak peek of the cover for HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN’S VACATION TO DIE FOR?

Okay, here it is.

And here's the deets on the fine mess Donna and Jack will be getting into:


HA-Vacation-to-Die-For-Final (1)The Housewife Assassin's 
Vacation to Die For
(Book 5) 
 

In Online Bookstores August 2, 2013

A nude sunbathing serial killer, rabid (literally) eco-terrorists, mafia hit men…
Talk about a fantasy (nightmare?) island!

Breck Industry's former getaway, Misfit Quay, as redeveloped into  three resorts. 
There's something for everyone:

Like Kamp KidStuff, where families frolic among dolphins, cartoon characters, and (due to a major booking glitch) warring Cosa Nostra families having separate reunions; 

And Eden Key, a nude singles sanctuary where tiki-hut treehouses provide the perfect setting for rum-fueled romances and casual hook-ups—not to mention the occasional swinger slashing…

Finally, there's Hunters Paradise, an exclusive club which caters to big game hunters seeking a most unusual quarry:
humans who are political prisoners of countries doing business with the Quorum. 

And you call this a vacation?

 

And in case you missed it…

 

The Housewife Assassin's 
HA-RSG-Final-V2

Relationship Survival Guide
(Book 4)

Signal Press

In Online Bookstores March 21, 2013!

Read an excerpt..

In this fourth full-length novel of 
The Housewife Assassin series, 
Donna Stone finds out that
breaking up is hard to do. 
Then again, so is dating a terrorist, 
let alone eleven of them!
Does this make Donna a serial dater, 
or a serial killer?

Worse yet, an old love gets in the way of Donna's chance for true love. 
But she doesn't cry…She gets even.
 

 

(A small portion of this book appeared as a novella in 
"Guns and Roses: A Murder She Writes Anthology".)

 

In the meantime, catch up on previous books in The Housewife Assassin series.

 

— Josie