, September 28, 2015
(view all comments by thebooktrail)
The story of the man behind some of the most famous paintings in the world from the women who knew him the best.
Oh the writing is like the sweeping brush strokes of an artist who paints with words. When I read that the author is an award-winning short-film director and producer of documentaries, then you can definitely see this in the writing an the cinematic feel of the novel.
Like many people I admit to knowing little of the man himself but by weaving fact and fiction together I could visualise everything about his life and the women he loved. The man behind the mirror whose painting reflect everything he saw felt and imagined, telling his story via the paintings and showing how he came to paint them and know the people in his life, who them became his subjects is a very unique way of allowing us to meet the real Rembrandt.
His world is one of debauchery, debt and hard living but also one of art and all that his paintings entail. He teaches whilst feeling tortured at home. I was in Saskia’s shoes, and then Geertje’s and then finally Hendrickje’s and it was like walking through one painting to another and seeing behind them, inside their world, seeing what Rembrandt must have seen.
Fascinating and a remarkable read. So evocative of time and place but also another world. Luckily evoked in paintings around the world and now in this novel.
Must be a film surely!