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Rembrandt's Whoreby Sylvie Matton
Synopses & Reviews
Reminiscent of Tracy Chevalier's best-selling Girl with a Pearl Earring, Rembrandt's Whore is the fictional monologue of Hendrickje Stoffels, Rembrandt's mistress, with whom he spent the last twenty years of his life. A sensitive innocent, Hendrickje escapes the harsh realities of her garrison hometown to become a servant in Rembrandt's household. She soon becomes his lover and closest confidante, filling the void left by the death of his wife and two of their children. Enlightened by the positive values of beauty, truth, love, and art, Hendrickje is fated to discover the hypocrisy and fickleness of Amsterdam society, which ostracizes her and precipitates Rembrandt's final collapse. Matton has researched not only Rembrandt's life and works but also contemporary Amsterdam and the Black Death. In a serene, sensuous style of writing she provides an intriguing and intimate view into the painter's life.
Immortalized in many of his greatest portraits, Hendrickje Stoffels was Rembrandt's common-law wife - and it is through her eyes that we are plunged into the midst of both a passionate affair and a turbulent era of Dutch history.
Immortalized in many of his greatest works of portraiture, Hendrickje Stoffels was Rembrandt's common law wife—and it is through her eyes, in this beautifully realized and well-researched novel, that we are plunged into the midst of both a passionate affair and a turbulent era of Dutch history. With writing as careful and subtle as the master's paintings, Rembrandt's Whore combines all the qualities of a naturalist tragedy, historical novel, and exposition of 17th-century Dutch society. To listen to Hendrickje is to share Rembrandt's life.
About the Author
Sylvia Matton is the author of a previous novel, L'Econduite. With her husband, the artist and filmmaker Charles Matton, she worked for two years on a feature-length film on the life of Rembrandt.
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