The Last Painting of Sara De Vos

The Last Painting of Sara De Vos

Large Print - 2016
Average Rating:
14
Rate this:
Across three continents and four hundred years, Dominic Smith has spun a stunning tale of forgeries and deaths, deception and love to reveal the lasting legacy of a fateful brush stroke. Akin to the page-turning greats like Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Goldfinch, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is held together by the gravitas of a single painting to tell the story of two women¿their mistakes and love affairs, their devotion to art and their struggles to thrive in a male dominated profession. When Ellie Shipley, a young art student, agrees to copy the seventeenth century painting, ¿At the Edge of a Wood,¿ her future becomes irrevocably entangled with Sara de Vos, the artist whose work she forged. Weaving together the past and present lives of Sara and Ellie and their two paintings, Smith brilliantly transports readers from 1950s New York - the mahogany walls of Upper West side apartments and the grit of Brooklyn, to the moody Dutch countryside of the 1600s to Sydney Australia¿s sun-soaked harbor in 2000.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2016
Edition: Large print ed
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781410490636
1410490637
Branch Call Number: LP SMITH
Characteristics: 495 pages (large print) ; 23 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Dual narratives: Sara, the first woman accepted in the Guild of Artists in Holland, 1630, and that of a woman artist who forges Sara's painting in 1950.

List - Fall into Good Books!
AL_PAMELAH Oct 11, 2016

A dual narrative: Sara de Vos was the first female artist granted membership in the painters guild of St. Luke in 1630's Holland. Ellie Shipley, an Australian student, paints a forgery of deVos's only surviving painting in 1955. Years later, both paintings are on their way to an exhibition of D... Read More »

Comment
AL_PAMELAH Aug 16, 2016

Loved this! I was an art history major, specializing in Northern European Baroque art. The "Sara" of the title is based on several female Dutch Baroque painters. Throw in a forgery and the intertwining stories come to life.


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

d
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.

m
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.

w
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.

d
d10786694p
Oct 12, 2016

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

b
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.

w
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.

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at Arapahoe Libraries

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top