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BellaOnline's Art Appreciation Editor

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Goldfinch Painting & Book - Masterpieces?


Carel Fabritius’ 1654 painting is undoubtedly a gem, but is Donna Tartt’s book by the same name a literary masterpiece?

I was unable to visit NYC during The Frick museum’s exhibit of "The Goldfinch." I appreciate the subject matter: a small bird probably a pet, chained by its foot to the feeder; and the artist’s deliberate quick brush strokes and painting shadows in the style of Vermeer and Rembrandt.

As for Tartt’s book, "The Goldfinch," published in 2013, it would become an overnight success as well as winning the author a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

I chose not to purchase this mystery – list price $30, a bit pricey for fiction; yet a good summer read I thought. I decided to put my name on a lengthy library list and awaited the e-mail saying I was the next in line.

I was anxious to read this book based on a work of art, after having enjoyed Tracy Chevalier’s 1999 historical novel, "Girl with Pearl Earring."

Chevalier’s book is a quick read at 240 pages, but Tartt’s book is a laborious 784 pages long.

"The Goldfinch" has been criticized by The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and The Paris Review as something other than the bestseller that it has become.

The New Yorker critic James Wood wrote, "Its tone, language, and story belong in children’s literature."

However true this may be (my opinion is in accordance with his), it is highly unlikely that a young adult would read such a lengthy book as "The Goldfinch."

Even though I did page through the entire book, I did skip some of the unnecessary dialogue. I didn't find the writing to be extraordinary, so I agree with the critics in their assessment.

The basic premise of the book is an explosion in a NY museum (that alone could make someone cringe in the aftermath of the NYC World Trade Center bombing in 2001) and the lifelong journey a young boy takes.

Tartt weaves an adventurous novel, despite all the happenstance events that eventually make for a happy ending.

You can own a giclee print of Carel Fabritius' "The Goldfinch," available here from Allposters.com.
The Goldfinch, 1654



The Goldfinch,...

Carel Fabritius

Buy This at Allposters.com



You can own the run away best seller "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt, available here on Amazon.com.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Camille Gizzarelli. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Camille Gizzarelli. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Camille Gizzarelli for details.

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