In addition to baking, Lucien is an aspiring painter. Though fictitious, he's surrounded by real painters and other figures in the artistic milieu of that time and place -- Toulouse Lautrec, Monet, Renoir, Theo Van Gogh (an art dealer and brother of the painter), Seurat, Gaugin, Whistler, Oscar Wilde and lots of others. An unusual feature of this novel: the hardcover version that I read is illustrated with paintings by the artists who appear in the story.
Sacré Bleu begins with the death of Vincent Van Gogh, and quickly moves on to Paris and many other real and fictional characters. When I started reading, I thought I would be bored by just another historical novel about the bohemian life of the Impressionists that's so well-known.
|Jane Avril by Toulouse-Lautrec.|
She appears in the novel.
I once heard a lecture about the amazing pigment ultramarine. It was extraordinarily expensive, and was especially desired for images of the Virgin Mary during the Renaissance. The fantasy that Moore weaves about it is much more amusing than the real history!