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Hello! I’m sorry I haven’t posted much on the blog in the last two weeks. I’ve been traveling and enjoying a little time off! I’m picking my Artwork of the Week this week based on what I am reading again. It is kind of fun to pair books and artworks! I am currently in the middle of The Goldfinch (which I recommend so far! It’s maybe a bit longer than it should be, but I am enjoying it.)
The book centers around a 17th-century painting from artist Carel Fabritius called The Goldfinch. Throughout most of the book, I assumed the painting was a fictional work, and I was delighted to learn it is not. It is interesting, because I have spent a lot of time imagining it while reading, and it doesn’t really look like I pictured. I imagined a dark brown background with more reds and golds like Rembrandt who was a teacher of Fabritius.
In the trompe l’oeil (“trick of the eye”) painting, a goldfinch bird has a chain from his leg to a bar attached to a wooden box. The book talks about the painting as a symbol for mortality, and the protagonist of the book is chained to this painting much like the bird is chained to this box.
We don’t have many artworks by this artist because he died young in an explosion near his home. Visit the Frick’s website to hear an audio recording that discusses this painting more.