This novel has been chosen as the August 24 Art of Reading Book Club selection. Contact Tess Crump or call 619.696.1941 to RSVP.
Featuring an extended description of Juan Sánchez Cotán's Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber (on view in the Museum's European Art galleries), this daringly imaginative story weaves together four individuals through the prism of a still life painting. Taking place over five decades, this enlightening and powerful novel, rich in visual detail, tells the tale of a dying painter, blind girl, landscape artist, and art curator.
In 1960s Italy, a dying painter considers the sacrifices and losses that have made him an enigma and begins his last painting using the same small group of bottles he has painted obsessively for his entire career. Not long after his death, the painter’s favorite student, a blind girl, tends to his grave and tries to grasp the world around her.
30 years later, a landscape painter who had written the Italian painter, finds himself in a situation which draws parallels between the two artists' life. In present day London, the landscape painter’s daughter, an art curator, struggles with the sudden loss of her brother.