Painter to the King (Paperback)
  • Painter to the King (Paperback)
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Painter to the King (Paperback)

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£8.99
Paperback Published: 04/04/2019
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Waterstones Says

Hailed as ‘one of the finest historical novels of recent years’ by Sarah Perry, this is an unmissable exploration of art and time shot through with a contemporary narrative of search and discovery.

'Novels about art and artistry are plentiful; many are very good. But in Painter to the King Sackville has written not only by far the finest novel of its kind that I have ever read, but one of the finest historical novels of recent years.' - Sarah Perry, The Guardian

It is 1622. Summoned by his king, Philip IV of Spain, painter Diego Velázquez departs his native Seville to attend the royal court of Madrid. Velázquez’s arrival marks the beginning of a complex relationship between artist and subject that will endure over the next 38 years. Over that time, the painter bears witness to the shifting fortunes of a court gradually collapsing under the weight of its own excess.

At storm's centre sits the king, a man entombed by responsibilities to his people and his own growing grief. The years pass and still no heir, his sadness submerged in a sea of advisers and courtiers. Through it all Velázquez observes and paints, recording the king and the daily drama of the court. His position is unique, existing just outside the maelstrom of kingship but still seeing all.

A portrait both of an artist and the act of art-making, the author of the award-winning The Still Point and Orkney presents a brilliantly-realised exploration of art and time, shot through with a contemporary narrative of search and discovery.

Publisher: Granta Books
ISBN: 9781783783922
Weight: 281 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'It's rewarding and demanding but if there were ever a novel composed from pictures, rather than words, it is this.' - The Mail on Sunday

Writers on Art: Amy Sackvile and Tom de Freston: Illustrated Talk

Writers on Art: Amy Sackvile and Tom de Freston: Illustrated Talk

Canterbury - Rose Lane
Thursday 10th March 18:30 - 19:45

In 1816, the French ship Medusa was wrecked off the African coast. 147 people were set adrift on a raft: 132 drowned. Gericault's huge painting of this tragedy remains a transformative exploration of trauma. As governments struggle to prevent refugees drowning in the Channel, artist Tom de Freston in Wreck, Gericault's Raft (which we will project on screen) discusses art at the limit of the unspeakable and unknown. 'A darting, incredibly ambitious book' – Daisy Johnson 'A pulsing, visionary book' – Philip Hoare 'A book for our time' – Guardian Amy Sackville's Painter to the King is a marvellous novel of Velazquez , centring on the eerie wonder of Las Meninas, a painting which will also be projected on our big screen during the event. Of Sackville Francis Spufford has said, 'If Virginia Woolf had had a younger sister, she would write like Amy', while the Independent sang of her 'startling originality ' and 'lyrical power'.

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“Painting with words....”

This is the story of Diego Velazquez from arriving to at the court of King Philip IV of Spain to his death, his relationship with him as an artist and as a human being.

Amy Sackville has an amazing writing style, as... More

Hardback edition
1 similar book recommended
Helpful? Upvote 84
Elizabeth at Preston

“An evocative, mesmerising read...”

There is a wonderful lyricism to Sackville’s writing, which only enhances the vibrancy of this atmospheric story set in the court of King Philip IV of Spain in 17th Century Spain.

Cleverly, like Velázquez used mise... More

Hardback edition
7 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 49

“Historical artistry”

I absolutely love historical fiction and ‘Painter to the King’ is one of the best I have read in a long while. It is an intensely personal love letter to the artist by the author, whose own musings on her subject... More

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 39

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