“The Goldfinch” by C. Fabritius (1654)

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1) “some scholars believe that Fabritius was the link between Rembrandt and Vermeer, whom he may have taught (although there is no hard evidence for this).”

2) “it [the painting] recently inspired Donna Tartt’s novel of the same name. Her bestselling, 800-page Bildungsroman, published in 2013, is narrated by a character who, as a 13-year-old boy, walks off with the painting in the chaos following a terrorist attack on the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where it is part of a temporary exhibition of Dutch masterpieces. Because of Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Fabritius’s Goldfinch is now more famous than ever.”

3) “the bird is chained – a detail which meant that, in other Dutch paintings, they could be symbols of captive love.”

4) “sometimes in art history the goldfinch, like the pelican, had Christian “overtones,” thanks to the flash of red on its face, which was understood as a reference to Christ’s blood.

For additional insights, see BBC Culture article
by Daily Telegraph author Alastair Sooke

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