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The Portrait

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Average Rating
Author:
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Pub. Date:
2006
Language:
English
Description
A perfectly rendered short novel of suspense about a painter driven to extremes. An influential art critic in the early years of the twentieth century journeys from London to the rustic, remote island of Houat, off France's northwest coast, to sit for a portrait painted by an old friend, a gifted but tormented artist living in self-imposed exile. Over the course of the sitting, the painter recalls their years of friendship, the double-edged gift of the critic's patronage, the power he wielded over aspiring artists, and his apparent callousness in anointing the careers of some and devastating the lives of others. The balance of power between the two men shifts dramatically as the critic becomes a passive subject, while the painter struggles to capture the character of the man, as well as his image, on canvas. Reminiscing with ease and familiarity one minute, with anger and menace the next, the painter eventually reveals why he has accepted the commission of this portrait, why he left London suddenly and mysteriously at the height of his success, and why now, with dark determination, he feels ready to return. Set against the dramatic, untamed landscape of Brittany during one of the most explosive periods in art history, The Portraitis rich with atmosphere and suggestion, psychological complexity, and marvelous detail. It is a novel you will want to begin again immediately after turning the last chilling page, to read once more with a watchful eye and appreciate the hand of an ingenious storyteller at work.
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ISBN:
9781440685019
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 35d0c948-da73-c9d4-cf57-9c05998cf1d6
Grouping Title portrait
Grouping Author pears iain
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-12-13 22:53:55PM
Last Indexed 2019-12-13 23:45:01PM

Solr Details

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A national bestseller from acclaimed?author Iain Pears, The Portrait is a novel of suspense and a tour de force.

An art critic journeys to a remote island off Brittany to sit for a portrait painted by an old friend, a gifted but tormented artist living in self-imposed exile. The painter recalls their years of friendship, the gift of the critic's patronage, and his callous betrayals. As he struggles to capture the character of the man, as well as his image, on canvas, it becomes clear that there is much more than a portrait at stake...

Iain Pears's An Instance of the Fingerpost and The Dream of Scipio are also available from Riverhead Books.

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