Winner of 5 major book awards, including thePublishers WeeklyU.S. 2021 Selfies Award for Best Adult Fiction and winner of theIndieReader2021 Discovery Award.
The riveting odyssey of one of the world’s most scandalous works of art.
In 1866, maverick French artist Gustave Courbet painted one of the most iconic images in the history of art: a sexually explicit portrait of a woman’s exposed genitals. Audaciously titled L’Origine du monde (The Origin of the World), the scandalous painting was kept hidden for a century and a half. Today, it hangs in the world-renowned Orsay Museum in Paris, viewed by millions of visitors a year.
As the first artist authorized by the Orsay Museum to re-create Courbet’s The Origin of the World, author Lilianne Milgrom was thrust into the painting’s intimate orbit, spending six weeks replicating every fold, crevice, and pubic hair. The experience inspired her to share her story and the painting’s titillating, clandestine history. L’Origine is a tale of survival, replete with French revolutionaries, Turkish pashas and nefarious Nazi captains. Hold onto your berets for a riveting ride through history.
Paris-born Lilianne Milgrom is an internationally acclaimed artist and award-winning author residing in Washington DC. In 2011, she became the first authorized copyist of Gustave Courbet’s controversial painting L’Origine du Monde, which hangs in the Orsay Museum in Paris. Milgrom spent a decade researching and writing L’Origine: The Secret Life of the World’s Most Erotic Masterpiece. Her debut novel has been awarded six literary honors including the Publisher’s Weekly 2021 US Selfies Book Award for Best Adult Fiction.
I was born and raised in London, I studied graphic art at Kings College there. I moved to Cornwall in the south west of England when I got married to raise my children. Cornwall is a beautiful place but there wasn’t much work for a graphic artist. So I found a day job and put my art aside. It was an idylic life that sadly came crashing down when I did a charity parachute jump that went horribly wrong. I was left disabled, housebound and very depressed. But even the darkest cloud has a silver lining as I rediscovered art, with a difference, I taught myself how to paint, through trial and error but I found joy in the freedom of expression it gave me. I like to paint what I feel as well as what I can see. I love bright colours and images that lift my spirit and make me happy. After displaying my paintings a various art fairs thoughout Cornwall I made a few sales which made me even happier. During the past few years we have made several visits to Spain, I love it there, the warm weather, the bright sunshine, the gorgeous old buildings and of course the sea. My husband is a photographer and I paint most of my paintings from the photos that he takes. His recent photos have been of dolphins in the wild and I’ve fallen in love with dolphins. I love to paint them bright and colourful, and happy, but recently I’ve experimented in black and white images to accentuate the perfectionn of their shape and the way they move. I have found it really interesting and I’m sure I’ll paint more. But I have to admit, I get the most pleasure from painting bright and colourful as it always cheers me up.