Friday, 6 June 2014

The book that didn’t win the Bailey’s Prize this week

Despite picking up the Pulitzer Prize this year, Donna Tartt’s novel The Goldfinch lost out this week to a novel by first-time author Eimear McBride. McBride’s book, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, won this year’s Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize).

The Library has The Goldfinch on the shelves (at MB 83.9 TAR) but we also have another couple of interesting items that I stumbled across when looking for it.

Ever heard of Carel Fabritius?

Me neither, but he painted the picture that features in the novel and peeps out from the front cover of the book.

Photo of front cover from Library copy.
p. 26 Carel Fabritius: complete edition
with a catalogue raisonné
Oxford;Phaidon, 1981
It’s hanging in the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery in the Netherlands - coincidentally the same gallery that houses Johannes Vermeer’s famous Girl With a Pearl Earring, which was also the subject of a modern novel.

We have a complete edition of Carel Fabritius’ work in the Library and, courtesy of the York City Art Gallery Gift Collection, we also have a book on the work of his brother, Barent Fabritius. Carel studied under Rembrandt, and it seems he was a promising young artist until he was killed in a massive gunpowder explosion in the city of Delft in 1654.

And, in keeping with our theme, the National Gallery has a painting of what Delft looked like after the explosion.

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