Carel Fabritius and The Goldfinch: Background information when reading The Goldfinch

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The Goldfinch

A Novel

by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2013, 608 pages
    Apr 2015, 784 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

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Beyond the Book:
Carel Fabritius and The Goldfinch

Carel FabritiusIn Donna Tartt's new book, the protagonist, Theo Decker, comes upon an original seventeenth century painting, "The Goldfinch". The painting is one of Carel Fabritius' (Fub-reet-zee-us) most famous works. Fabritius (1622-1654) was one of Rembrandt's pupils. He worked from the Dutch city of Delft and produced only a small body of work before his death in a gunpowder explosion that shook the city in 1654, killing hundreds. Although a student of Rembrandt, Fabritius branched away from his master in his use of cool color schemes and especially his use of perspective - a technique that would surface later in the work of Vermeer.

Samuel van Hoogstraten's Interior of a Dutch HouseFabritius was known to use special optical effects and slight distortions in his paintings. Dutch artists of the time specialized in the use of peep boxes to add perspective. A peep box is a painting inside of a constructed rectangular box. The four interior walls are painted according to specific techniques and then a peephole is carefully placed. When the ...

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