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The Portrait

Pears, Iain

1,420 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1573222984 / ISBN 13: 9781573222983
Published by Riverhead Books, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2005
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Kennedy Books (Jamestown, ND, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since March 13, 2004

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

Fine/Fine unread copy protected by Archival Brodart cover. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000899

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Portrait

Publisher: Riverhead Books, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First American Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

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 Portrait is 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.

About the Author:

Iain Pears is the author of the New York Times bestseller An Instance of the Fingerpost and the national bestseller The Dream of Scipio, as well as a series of acclaimed detective novels, a book of art history, and countless articles on artistic, financial, and historical subjects.

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