I recently read I Always Loved You by Robin Oliviera, a fictional look at the relationship between American artist Mary Cassatt and French Impressionist Edgar Degas. It’s not as much a true love story as it is a reflection of the time. The late 1800’s Paris was the boom of independently minded artists who brought the impressionist movement to life. Those visionaries included not only Cassatt and Degas, also the likes of Renoir, Caillebotte, Monet, Cezanne, Pissaro, Morisot and Manet. The author of I Always Loved You intertwines their lives and creates a fascinating story featuring tumultuous relationships, radical ideas, and ambitious Impressionism. Results? Well, we’re all familiar with the consequence of their genius.
During a recent trip to Boston I visited the Museum of Fine Arts and spent considerable time in the Impressionist section. On display are notable Degas pieces along with his Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer sculpture, which is divine. The museum also has a few Mary Cassatt pieces, The Tea and In the Loge for example, but they are featured in the American Artists section, not the Impressionist section, which is bit disappointing given her deep devotion and contribution to Impressionism.
I Always Loved You is a delightful story for those fascinated by the romance, brilliance and masterpieces of the Belle Époque.
I really enjoyed this book, I hope you do too.