Paris, 1927, a day in July. A destitute young American named Rafaela Fano gets into the car of a dazzling stranger, the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka. Struggling to halt a downward slide toward prostitution, Rafaela agrees to model for the artist. The two become lovers, and Rafaela inspires Tamara's most accomplished and prized works of art, including Beautiful Rafaela, "one of the most important nudes of the twentieth century" (New York Times). The relationship between the artist and her muse lasted less than a year, yet in 1980, just before Tamara died, she was working on a copy of Beautiful Rafaela. Author Ellis Avery imagines their affair from Rafaela's point of view, and the final day of Tamara's life from the painter's point of view. A window into Jazz Age Paris as the forces of history close in, The Last Nude is a story of genius and craft, art and money, friendship and desire.
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by Robyn Carr
by Gail Z. Martin
by Bree Baker
by Amanda Eyre Ward
by Sue Miller
by Joyce Carol Oates
by Shelly Ellis
by Maeve Binchy
by Ellis Avery
"In this account of art deco painter Tamara de Lempicka's relationship with her model, Rafaela, buildings look like confections and sewing machines sound like cicadas. In fact, nearly every detail thrums with lush, sensual imagery. Rafaela is stumbling her way through Jazz Age Paris when she meets Tamara and becomes her lover and muse. ThŽrse Plummer voices young Rafaela with a contemporary inflection and captures her appealing energy. Plummer also balances the young woman's na•vetŽ with her somewhat desperate edges. Barbara Caruso narrates the artist's part just as convincingly, immersing herself in the role of the emotional Polish painter. Her accent and direct tone provide an appropriate contrast to Plummer's performance. This is an excellent production of a fascinating story. L.B.F. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine"
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