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Copyright © Maureen Gibbon. All rights reserved.



When a muse meets her artist.

​​​Paris, 1862. Victorine Meurent, a young girl in a threadbare dress and green boots, hungry for experience, meets the mysterious artist Édouard Manet. The encounter will change her—and the art world—forever. 

For anyone who loves painting or Paris, a luminous and erotic novel about how art transforms us. 

"Intense and erotic..."

"A very Paris of a novel."

This absorbing, well-researched novel riffs on the relationship between the painter Édouard Manet and his muse, the model and painter Victorine Meurent....Artfully throws attention from a famous painter onto the woman he paints. —The New Yorker

Gibbon’s novel turns the tables on the customary relationship between artist and model, giving voice to the subject of Manet’s work.... By detailing the hardships faced by working-class women in 19th-century France, she shows how much courage and drive a female painter like Meurent needed to stay true to her own vision. New York Times Sunday Book Review

Highly erotic and coolly sophisticated.... The greatest pleasure in Gibbon's historical novel comes from Victorine's insightful voice as she realizes her full potential, becoming a successful painter in her own right (a biographical fact). More than just a vacation to another time and place, this book is an inspiring tale about a woman who gave deeply in love but never gave herself away.

Nineteenth century Paris sets the stage for the fortuitous meeting of world-famous artist Edouard Manet and Victorine Meurent.... As Manet gains notoriety from Victorine's image, she ponders her own trajectory and what she really wants. Elle


In this wonderful novel chronicling the life of one of painter Edouard Manet’s primary models, Gibbon takes readers on a mesmerizing, erotic journey not only to another time and place but inside the mind of an artist. Using spare, evocative prose, Gibbon shows us a young woman on the verge of finding her own artistic voice and offers an insightful and riveting account of how Manet and his muse feed off of each other’s passion to create something greater than either of them. ​​​​​Publishers Weekly

One of Paris Red's strengths lies in its unexpected status as a tale of artistic rather than sexual awakening...Full of animated scenes of working-class Paris in the 1860s, Gibbon's color-rich prose moves with the deliberate urgency of brushstrokes on canvas. Booklist

You'll be caught up in the rich and sensuous world that Gibbon weaves right from the beginning. Oui indeed! InStyle Book Club

An intense and erotic depiction...this novel explores the legacy of artist, muse, and masterpiece. Harper's Bazaar