Thunderclap: A memoir of art and life & sudden death (Paperback)
  • Thunderclap: A memoir of art and life & sudden death (Paperback)
zoom

Thunderclap: A memoir of art and life & sudden death (Paperback)

(author)
9 Reviews Sign in to write a review
? RRP £12.99
£10.99
Save £2.00 (15%)
Paperback 272 Pages
Published: 16/05/2024
  • 10+ in stock

Usually dispatched within 2-3 working days

  • This item has been added to your basket
Waterstones Says

Taking the dramatic 1654 explosion in Delft that killed the painter Carel Fabritius as a springboard for a profound meditation on Dutch art and culture, the author of On Chapel Sands casts light on an era of astonishing artistic creativity and innovation.

Winner of the Non-Fiction Writers' Prize 2024

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Non-Fiction 2024

From the Sunday Times-bestselling author of On Chapel Sands

'We see with everything that we are'

On the morning of 12 October 1654, in the Dutch city of Delft, a sudden explosion was followed by a thunderclap that could be heard more than seventy miles away. Carel Fabritius - now known across the world for his exquisite painting, The Goldfinch - had been at work in his studio. He, along with many others, would not survive the day.

In Thunderclap, Laura Cumming reveals her passion for the art of the Dutch Golden Age and her determination to lift up the reputation of Fabritius. She reveals the Netherlands, where - wandering the narrow streets of Amsterdam, driving across the flatlands, or pausing at a quiet waterfront - she encounters the rich reality behind the shining beauty of Vermeer and Rembrandt, Hals and de Hooch. She shares too her relationship with her father, the Scottish artist James Cumming, who had his own deep connection to Dutch painting, and who taught her about colour, light and the rewards of looking deeply.

This is a book about what a picture may come to mean: how it can enter your life and change your thinking in a thunderclap, a sudden clarity of sight. This is also a book about the precariousness of human life - the way it may be snatched from us in an instant. What can art do to sustain us? The work that survives tells its own compelling story in these pages.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781529922530
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 424 g
Dimensions: 197 x 126 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A book that often borders on the sublime in its sentiment and beauty - Sunday Times

This is an extraordinary book, full of beauty and feeling and immediacy and depth (and impressive detective work)...Thunderclap is a work of genius - India Knight

One of the most captivating books I have ever read… Delightful, intimate, and dotted with beautiful art. A wonderful read (or a great present) for anyone who loves stories and art - Nina Stibbe

Cumming is a word-painter ... When something fascinates Laura Cumming, she makes sure, with her beguiling prose, that we too are caught up in her fascination - The Times

Cumming clearly loves these paintings, and by weaving together vivid evocations of ones that particularly move her with brief biographies of the men and women who painted them, she invites us to share that love - New York Times

Exquisite... [Cumming's] pages are themselves lovely exercises in poetic vision and stay with you long after you finish - Simon Schama, author of BELONGING, Guardian

[A] lustrous meditation on the lives and after-lives of artists ... with a novelist's pace, a critic's eye, a daughter's heart - Financial Times

A superb tribute to the masterpieces of the Dutch Golden Age, and the father who taught her how to see them ... In asking why we return to paintings across decades and centuries, this book taught me to see anew - Telegraph

[A] fascinating amalgam of insightful art appreciation and a haunting personal story - Sunday Times, Books of the Year*

An intriguing, ambitious and tender blend of art history and personal memoir, this beautifully illustrated book is one to read and re-read - Daily Mail, Books of the Year*

Non-Fiction Book Club

Non-Fiction Book Club

Glasgow - Sauchiehall Street
Wednesday 3rd July 18:00 - 19:00

Join us for a brilliant evening at Waterstones Sauchiehall St chatting all things non-fiction! Our June Pick is 'Thunderclap' by Laura Cumming!

View

You may also be interested in...

Down and Out in Paris and London
Added to basket
The Year of Magical Thinking
Added to basket
Arrangements in Blue
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
Agatha Christie Bingo
Added to basket
Knife
Added to basket
£20.00
Hardback
Free
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes
Added to basket
Jane Austen Playing Cards
Added to basket
Agatha Christie
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback
Super-Infinite
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
Wifedom
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
The Swimmer
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Added to basket
How To Say Babylon
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback

“Simply wonderful..”

The life-like painting ‘The Goldfinch’, painted by the Dutch artist Carel Fabritius, who died in a gunpowder warehouse explosion in 1654, inspired many novels. The painting was found among the debris where he, his... More

Hardback edition
1 similar book recommended
Helpful? Upvote 23

“Sublime”

Part of the wonder of art is the singular connection we form, invisible strings that draw us to one piece and not another. It's deeply personal and all but indefinable; Cummings is able to lay it on the page... More

Hardback edition
1 similar book recommended
Helpful? Upvote 14

“A love letter to Dutch art”

‘Thunderclap’ by Laura Cumming is a captivating celebration of Dutch art as well as a moving exploration of the power of paintings for creator and audience alike.

It centres on the elusive life of 17th-century... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 12

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.

env: aptum
branch: