The Last Painting of Sara De Vos

The Last Painting of Sara De Vos

A Novel

eBook - 2016
Average Rating:
14
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"This is what we long for: the profound pleasure of being swept into vivid new worlds, worlds peopled by characters so intriguing and real that we can't shake them, even long after the reading's done. In his earlier, award-winning novels, Dominic Smith demonstrated a gift for coaxing the past to life. Now, in The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, he deftly bridges the historical and the contemporary, tracking a collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the golden age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth. In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke's in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain--a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she's curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. As the three threads intersect, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerizes while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Sarah Crichton Books, 2016.
Characteristics: text file
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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dbrh852
Jun 30, 2017

This is carefully constructed novel that includes intrigue, drama, and a little art history. The characters are memorable, and I loved the way the author chose to end this story. The story prompted me to think about how we place value on things as well as how we value our lives. I recommend this book for a great summertime read.

JCLMaryanaK Feb 03, 2017

Weaving between 1630's Netherlands, 1950's New York City and Sydney in the year 2000, Smith reveals the mystery behind an art theft/forgery and the life of the artist. Although the painting and painter are fictional, the author stays true to the historical facts of the Dutch art scene of that era, making Sara De Vos and "at the edge of a wood" feel real. Smith excelled at building up the world around his characters and bringing paintings to life. Art, artists, and the art world all play a strong role, but the heart of the story is about forgiveness and letting go of the past. For anyone looking for a read-alike for Donna Tarte's "The Goldfinch", I recommend you give this book a try.

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mariho
Jan 21, 2017

A well written Book; I'm an art lover and especially like the Dutch paintings from that period. Oh mine, the description of the fictional painting and the characters is so real and nicely crafted. The plot is not that predictable, which I I appreciate. How fine is the editing which the author have performed well like a finely detail masterpiece.

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wyenotgo
Jan 04, 2017

An unusual book, combining a bit of historical fiction centering around Fine Arts along with a bit of a caper story with some rather off-beat romance thrown in.
I found it an easy-going, enjoyable. It offered a number of cogent insightful observations on the unpredictability of human relations, the unintended consequences that can result from acts of deception, the startling affects of beauty upon the human psyche. Also, it was simply a cleverly conceived story. My main quibble is that I felt Smith's development of Ellie's character and her motivations, especially early in the book were a bit sketchy. Hence, a bit short of 4 stars.

Bunny_Watson716 Dec 12, 2016

I really enjoyed how this was both contemporary and historical fiction, and I loved the element of an imagined, undiscovered female Dutch master painter.

s
sherit
Nov 07, 2016

One of the best fiction books about art in recent years. Read it, you won't be disappointed.

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d10786694p
Oct 12, 2016

A very good read. But, didn't end as I expected!

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brangwinn
Oct 10, 2016

This is a beautiful story about a female Dutch painter in the 17th century. Married to a painter who has fallen into disgrace the family is thrown into poverty. The death of their only daughter and the realization that she is stuck with her husband’s unpaid bills makes Sara take the offer to paint a village far away from Amsterdam. This commission turns into a blessing because along with her landscape painting she finds real happiness. The story is actually two stories. The other story set in the 1950’s is a young art student, Ellie, who creates a forgery of Sara de Vos’ only known painting and how this forgery haunts her, right up to the end as she recovers the real painting. If you are a fan of The Girl with the Pearl Earring you will enjoy this book.

LoganLib_Phoebe Aug 29, 2016

A beautiful work that spans three time periods. This is the story of the painter, the forger and the owner - and how one painting impacts on their lives.

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wozebooks
Aug 25, 2016

I am an artist and I love to read of other artists work and lives. This book is filled with information and at the same time unfolds a many layered story that is fascinating. Well done Dominic Smith, I am adding you to my list of writers to watch.

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