French Favorites Fan Fiction

French Luminaires

R. Charboneau

Inspired by Henri Fantin-Latour’s painting Un coin de table (1872), which I saw at the Musée D’Orsay about five years ago, and was quite taken with. Apparently it was criticized at the time for being “too big,” but ironically that’s what drew me to it. When I read the names of the figures in the painting, I imagined which of my favorite French artists and thinkers I’d like to see sitting together. Apologies to Charles Baudelaire, who was supposed to be featured in the original by Fantin-Latour, but got left out. I also forgot to make some space for him. But I did write a poem about visiting his grave, so hopefully that makes up for it.

8 thoughts on “French Favorites Fan Fiction

  1. Check out his still-life paintings. There is also a beautiful portrait of his sister (I think) in the National Gallery. I own two of his lithographs. Wish I could afford one of his paintings, but I’m fresh out of millions.

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    1. Yup! And the man with the hat is Apollinaire. Cezanne is the one with his arms folded. And Seurat is on the very right. It was my first time drawing any of them, except for Proust, so I probably should’ve practiced first.

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      1. Whoops. That’s why Cezanne looked so damn familiar! I thought he was maybe a science man. Plus, I was only expecting to see writers/philosophers. I gotta ask: are you half/quarter French?

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      2. According to 23&Me I’m about an eighth French, so not very much. But I started studying French in Middle School (so about 13-14 years old) and I recently completed my Master’s by comparing English and French Modernists.

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      3. One eighth French, that’s pretty cool! I started learning it in middle school too. In time, I got myself to an intermediate level where I could understand it rather well in writing and speech. However, it’s quickly fading away these days, as I never get to use it much. Might still listen to some music, read some articles or watch French TV, but that’s too little…

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