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Art References in The Weary Traveler

Lorelei is an artist. Well, a failed one, at least. Because of this, sometimes she sees the world through paintings and sculptures. There isn’t anything obscure in The Weary Traveler, but I thought I’d post about the handful of references made in case any of them were new to my Dear Readers. No spoilers here, by the way, just the artists, the work referenced, and a tiny bit of context.

…a vast lawn crested down over a hill, laying itself out so beautifully she thought she had stepped into a Monet or a Greatorex.

Lorelei seeing the backyard of Moonlit Shores Manor for the first time

Claude Monet was a French impressionist painter who did a lot of beautiful landscapes in mostly oils. He’s probably the most recognizable artist listed, so I don’t think I even needed to include him here, but just look at this beautiful garden!

Flowering Arches, Giverny, 1913

There are a number of artists with the name Greatorex, and I don’t specify in the text which I’m using, but I had Eliza Pratt Greatorex in mind. She was an American landscape artist who also worked in oils. I was torn between wanting to reference female artists throughout the book and the fact that very few women are widely know. You know, aesthetics are a lady’s game until you’re supposed to be paid for them or considered a genius, then it’s men all the way down. *rolling eye emoji*

Gorse On Sand Dunes

Out in the sun, the two of them had skin that looked like delicate stone carved by Rafaelle Monti, Ziah’s warm and golden and Ren’s cold and mica-flecked.

Rafaelle Monti was an Italian sculptor who worked in marble and porcelain, producing a number of busts and specialized in creating the illusion of a veil out of stone. Yeah, the image below? That’s all rock, baby.

Dama Velata, 1845

No quote for this one, but Lorelei has Girl with a Pearl Earring as her phone background because she’s secretly a tiny bit pretentious. It’s an oil by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, produced in the mid 1600s, and known for how intimately the figure looks back at you. Lorelei’s phone is a tiny point of contention for her, so having it stare back at her was a nod to that. This girl looks like she might be judging you, and I love her for it.

Meisje met de parel, ~1665

The buildings were packed in tightly on either side of a busy street, and the air smelled how a Eugène Boudin painting looked: salty and bright.

On visiting the town of Moonlit Shores for the first time

Eugène Boudin, who was like totes BFFs with Monet, was another French landscape artist who worked in pastels and sometimes oils and often depicted the shore. His stuff is some of my favorite. I like the way the strokes look, like you can feel them, and I love the sea.

Rivage de Pontrieux, Cotes-du-Nord, 1874

She glanced at the others, looking back at her like they had just stepped out of Waterhouse’s pond, and she were Hylas.

Lorelei when she firsts meets Ziah’s siblings

Hylas and the Nymphs is an oil by John William Waterhouse depicting the myth of Hylas, big time bisexual disaster, who probably drowned because of pretty ladies in the water, which sounds dumb, but, I mean, look at them–you probably would too.

Hylas and the Nymphs, 1896

No quote for this next reference either, but Lorelei visits a place that reminds her of the the Chartres Cathedral, and I just wanted to share that with you because it’s beautiful.

The only thing the Catholics get right is their ding dang churches because whoa!

She finally understood how those nuns must have felt when they ordered L’ange du mal removed from St. Paul’s Cathedral for being a depiction of the devil that was just too sexy to exist…But then L’ange du mal was replaced by Le génie du mal which was, arguably, even sexier.

I mean, you’ll just see how this fits into the book, I guess

So here’s L’ange du mal, a sculpture by Joseph Geefs of a fallen angel for St. Paul’s Cathedral. I don’t know why they essentially wanted a huge-as depiction of Lucifer in a church, but thank the gods because look at it.

L’ange du mal, 1842

But after it was installed, the church was like “Whoa, the pews need a lot more cleaning than normal,” and they figured it might have something to do with the too-hot-for-tabernacle Satan they had out front, so they asked Geef’s brother, Guillaume to just make another one, and, surprise, this one is even hotter.

Le génie du mal, 1848

But the mirror’s reflection moved again, watery and weird like a Dali come to life, and the component coin lurched as if it were floating in a tub.

This is just a general reference to Salvador Dali’s surrealism paintings. Here’s his most well-known work, which I would say is pretty faithful to being “watery and weird.”

The Persistence of Memory, 1931

I also made a couple references to color in general. I talk about cadmium for a split second which is a (toxic) chemical element that, among other things, can be added to red, orange, and yellow pigments to make them resistant to fading.

Cadmium Yellow

I also reference phthalo a couple times, specifically phthalo emerald. Phthalo refers to phthalocyanine, a compound that’s good for synthetic pigments because of its molecular structure, but boy do I not understand why at all. I guess art really does need science, who knew? What I do know, is the word phthalo has always been stuck in my head as one of the loveliest along with “cadmium” and “titanium” thanks to Bob Ross. I always hear them in his kind, soft voice, and that’s probably why art is sprinkled throughout this book. All thanks to Bob Ross.

Phthalo Emerald

I think that’s all of them, so just a few over 107k words, but enough to give you a sense of how Lorelei perceives things. Get The Weary Traveler here!

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