Girl in Hyacinth Blue

Girl in Hyacinth Blue A Professor Invites A Colleague From The Art Department To His Home To View A Painting He Has Kept Secret For Decades In Susan Vreeland S Powerful Historical Novel, Girl In Hyacinth Blue The Professor Swears It S A Vermeer But Why Exactly Has He Kept It Hidden So Long The Reasons Unfold In A Gripping Sequence Of Stories That Trace Ownership Of The Work Back To Amsterdam During World War II And Still Further To The Moment Of The Painting S Inception

Susan Vreeland is an internationally renowned best selling author and four time winner of the Theodor Geisel Award for Fiction, the San Diego Book Award s highest honor She is known for writing historical fiction on art related themes, including Girl in Hyacinth Blue, The Passion of Artemisia, Luncheon of the Boating Party, and Clara and Mr Tiffany Her books have been translated into 26

❰KINDLE❯ ✾ Girl in Hyacinth Blue Author Susan Vreeland –
  • Paperback
  • 242 pages
  • Girl in Hyacinth Blue
  • Susan Vreeland
  • English
  • 22 May 2018
  • 9780140296280

10 thoughts on “Girl in Hyacinth Blue

  1. says:

    She thought of all the people in all the paintings she had seen that day, not just Father s, in all the paintings of the world, in fact Their eyes, the particular turn of a head, their loneliness or suffering or grief was borrowed by an artist to be seen by other people throughout the years who would never see them face to face People who would be that close to her, she thought, a matter of a few arms lengths, looking, looking, and they would never know her Johannes Vermeer self portrait cropped from his painting The Procuress 1656.Johannes Vermeer or Van Der Meer was a 17th century Dutch painter who had a modestly successful career He would have been successful, made money, enjoyed a certain level of comfort if only he would paint faster He did not paint until the mood struck him, commissions were bothersome, rarely of interest His life was about light and how to capture that light perfectly for all eternity in the pigment of his paint I ve had the pleasure of meeting a few of his paintings in museums across Europe Every time I m struck by each and every poetic brush stroke he made to the luminosity of natural light seemingly only to be able to be perceived by the eye of Vermeer in the city of Delft He traded paintings for food, for shoes for his children, for debts that accumulated as he pondered the subject for his next painting The Concert by Vermeerabsconded with.There are sixty six potential Vermeer s in the world, but only thirty four are universally recognized as accredited Johannes Vermeer paintings In 1990 The Concert was stolen from a museum in Boston and has never been recovered Valued in the neighborhood of 200,000,000 it is the most valuable unrecovered painting in history We can hope that it landed in the hands of a collector, who is selfishly hoarding it hopefully in a climate controlled environment Someday the collector will die and the painting will reemerge We can hope The Astronomer was seized by the Nazis in 1940 from the de Rothschild s family It was returned to the family after the war, but was given to the French government in payment for back taxes in 1983 It now hangs in the Louvre On the back of the painting there is a black ink Swastika This brings me to the subject of this book Susan Vreeland begins by introducing us to Cornelius Engelbrecht who has decided to reveal after many years of hiding the existence of the painting, a Vermeer, to his friend and art lover Richard It can t beit can t be a Vermeer There are numerous problems in regards to this painting Provenance, that all important paperwork establishing authenticity, has been lost or separated from the work The other major problem is how Cornelius s father obtained possession of the work Germany, 1940s, opportunities abounded for artwork and other precious things of value to fall into the hands of the less than scrupulous There are still families trying to get back artwork that was confiscated by the Germans or stolen by opportunists and sold to collectors museums all over the world Look Look at her eye Like a Pearl The Girl in Hyacinth Blue painted by Jonathan JansonSo what is this painting It is of Magdalena Vermeer, daughter of the painter The one most like him The one with sewing shoved into her hands when her fingers ached for the brushes She loved him, loved what he did with that hand, and even, she suspected, loved what he loved, though they had never spoken of it When that thought lifted her face to his, she saw his cheeks grow softer, as if he noticed her in the house for the first time It was hard for anyone to get his attention, especially a young girl who was loved most when not disruptive to his brooding thoughts Vreeland begins the book with Cornelius and then steadily takes us back in time with the painting The people that swirl around the painting are brought to life and the influence of having something so beautiful gracing their lives shows the greedy need we all have to possess something so alluring One of my favorite stories is of a poor family trying to save their farm from a flood and in the midst of this conflict a baby is laid in their boat along with the painting with instructions to sell the artwork to feed the baby The painting becomes a source of tension between the husband and wife The wife doing anything she can to keep it The husband, thinking of the winters to come, knows the money from selling it will allow him to expand his breeding stock which will better insure the family s long term survival The wife becomes rebellious, but her mother sets her straight Work is love made plain, whether man s or woman s work, and you re a fool if you can t recognize it The child s the blessing, Saskia, not the painting When she does finally sell the painting I could feel the pain of the loss as acutely as does Saskia There is nothing she will ever be able to buy for the rest of her life that will replace the vibrancy of a Vermeer painting She does leave her mark on the painting because she names it and she passes that name to the buyer Morningshine.In the later chapters we even meet Vermeer as he struggles with creditors and subjects for art that will inspire him to lift his brush We meet the mutinous Magdalena as she struggles against the forces trying to make her learn the skills that will make her a valuable housewife How can you mend when you must create In the final chapter we see her meeting her painting once again She borrows every scrap of money she can to try and buy it when it comes up for auction, but paintings like that aren t supposed to be owned by normal people, not even a person who has the blood of the painter cycling through her own heart It is always so ironic to think of painters giving away paintings for a loaf of bread and a few decades centuries later those same works of art becoming worth inconceivable amounts of money The book gets better and better as we walk back through history with Vreeland The later chapters are stellar, poignant, and captivating They lift the book from a three star to a four star The author put me in the same room as Vermeer, so much so I could almost see the light the way he saw it Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window by Vermeer.

  2. says:

    Art lovers will probably enjoy this book Historical fiction, art and art history, good writing, combined for a good read I ve read several of her books and this may be my favorite I would compare it to Tracy Chevalier s

  3. says:

    Just arrived from Italy, kindly sent by Hayes, through BM.This book is a collection of 8 short stories describing the story of Vermeer, the famous 17th century Dutch painter A splendid and delightful book.1 Love enough 2 Night different from all other nights3 Adagia4 Hyacinth blues Girl in Hyacinth Blue5 Morningshine 6 From the personal papers of Adriaan Kuypers 7 Still life The Little StreetThe View of DelftGirl Reading a Letter by an open windowThe MilkmaidChrist in the House of Mary and Martha8 Magdalena looking.Some interesting links about Vermeer Johannes Vermeer The Art, Paintings and Life of Jan Vermeer Van Delft Johannes Vermeer s influence and inspirationEssential VermeerJohannes Vermeer, a review by Mark Haden

  4. says:

    This is a story of a Vermeer painting, beginning with it s present owner and tracing back through about five owners and finally to the artist while painting the picture.This was a great read very original and interesting I loved the strong characters in this little book, I ve read it at least twice.The prose was well written and flowed beautifully from story to story Just a wonderful book.Recommend for all fans of beautifully written historical fiction

  5. says:

    Girl in Hyacinth Blue tells the story of a painting by the Dutch painter Vermeer, as it passes from one owner to another Interestingly, the story is told in reverse chronological order, beginning with the math teacher who, at present time, hides the painting in his home, to the girl in the painting and her wishes to become an artist herself I thought the book kept getting better and better as it travels back in history to reveal the effects the painting had on each owner They all find some connection between it and their own lives, though the reasons for the connections vary drastically However, the act of giving up the painting is difficult for all they struggle with it but know that selling giving away the painting must be done out of necessity.

  6. says:

    I bought this book around 2008 to 2010 I just stored it in my box of books and never even bother to read it Then I found this while I was sorting box recently I never expected that I was deeply engrossed in the stories most especially Morningshine, From the Personal Papers of Adriaan Kuypers and Still Life This is one of those books that is a page turner and you ll still definitely love to read after several years have passed.

  7. says:

    A previously undiscovered Vermeer is revealed and the author traces its ownership back in time to its origination Each owner or custodian has a slightly different reason for wanting to keep the painting, and different reasons for letting it go Each time it changes hands, the owner is pained to part with it And still, for everyone it represents longing and wishes unfulfilled.

  8. says:

    This entry will be out of the ordinary I wrote GIRL IN HYACINTH BLUE,and somehow it appeared in the wrong place on Goodreads I can t seem to remove it, so I might as well supply a review.NEW YORK TIMESDecember 19, 1999Picture This A novel of a haunting painting and its effect on a succession of owners over three centuries Girl in Hyacinth Blue, by Susan Vreelandby Katy EmckSusan Vreeland s second novel, Girl in Hyacinth Blue, may be a book about a painting, but it is never content with surfaces Tracing the influence of one extraordinary picture on a succession of human lives, it touches gently yet thoughtfully on such weighty topics as the immortality of a great artwork and the ways in which art can be used for various ends In the course of her explorations, Vreeland covers a lot of time and space Girl in Hyacinth Blue begins in present day America and ends in the 17th century Netherlands, scrolling backward as each chapter accounts for the painting s role in the life of one of its owners Among other things, Vreeland has given us an art detective story, since the early chapters suggest that this marvelous painting a portrait of a young girl whose face seems to be filled with dreams and longings may be a lost Vermeer When we first encounter it, the picture is hidden from view, its possession the dark secret of a lonely mathematician whose father looted it from a Dutch Jewish family that he then sent to die in a concentration camp Horrified by his father s crimes, he worships the painting with obsessional fervor, fearing that if anyone sees it, the secret of its provenance will come to light But, as is the way with such things, he also feels compelled to show off his trophy The chapter that displays the mathematician s solitary, guilt filled pleasure is followed by another that provides a lively view of the close knit Jewish family from whom the painting was stolen and particularly of the young daughter who identifies with its subject, a girl just about her own age This sequence establishes the pattern for the book s structure each chapter stands on its own, a marvel of economy, yet also builds on the knowledge the reader has already gained Vreeland is especially good at conveying the tensions that arise among her characters but go largely unspoken She is also adept at capturing the differing sensibilities of various historical periods, working unobtrusively and successfully avoiding a contrived period feel In the process, she provides her own nicely sketched gallery of portraits a frivolous Frenchwoman marooned in a loveless marriage in the 19th century Netherlands an 18th century farmer s wife hungering for beauty in the midst of the flat Dutch countryside and an Enlightenment scientist who embarks on an affair with a superstitious serving girl In all these episodes, the painting is pivotal, both in a practical and a spiritual sense The aristocratic Frenchwoman hates all things Dutch except the girl in the painting because she recognizes in her a sense of hope that she herself has lost The farmer s wife loves the same girl because she symbolizes a serene loveliness that is unattainable for people who labor in the fields In the end, each woman is forced to sell the painting so that each, in her own very different way, can survive But for each of them, the possession of Girl in Hyacinth Blue leads to profound changes This conflict of the spiritual and the practical comes to dominate the final chapters of the novel in which the exigencies of the painter s life are movingly brought to the fore Like many of its predecessors, the penultimate chapter is filled with a sense of tenderness, of gratitude for the gift of life a mood that doesn t cloy because it is accompanied by a clear evocation of the daily stresses of loving and living But the crowning chapter is the final one, which introduces the girl in the picture and provides a glimpse of what is actually going on behind those dreamy eyes Throughout Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Vreeland strikes a pleasant balance between the timeless world of the painting as a work of art and the finite worlds of its possessors and admirers not to mention the world of its subject and its creator Intelligent, searching and unusual, the novel is filled with luminous moments like the painting it describes so well, it has a way of lingering in the reader s mind.Katy Emck is a freelance reviewer based in London.

  9. says:

    I liked this gentle story very much We follow an imaginary painting back in time We first see it hanging on the wall in a Math teacher s house The teacher is enigmatic and strange, and his story reveals the shady nature of the acquisition of this painting by his father in Amsterdam And we don t know is it, or is it not by the Master Jan Vermeer We are taken slowly back in time, until we arrive at the moment that the painting was created, first in the mind of the artist and then on canvas The backwards structure reminded me of People of the Book, but I preferred this book, which was written almost ten years earlier The painting itself, or perhaps its anima, is the narrator of the story and witnesses the horrors of the Second World War, a flood in 17th Century Holland, the childhood of the girl who posed for the portrait I loved the descriptions of life in The Hague in the 18th Century, Delft in the 17th Century I was left feeling that this was a perfectly true story and I cared very much about all of the characters and about the painting And of course I adore Vermeer I grew up down the street from the Metropolitan Museum in New York How could I not like Vermeer This one is my favorite It s not at all the subject of the Girl in Hyacinth Blue the imaginary painting, I mean , but I thought of it immediately when I started reading.Film to see again All the Vermeers in New York by Jan Jost.

  10. says:

    This book has been on my shelf for years, so I randomly picked it up with low expectations, looking for something calm, easy and historical, and was immediately drawn in to author Susan Vreeland s imaginary tale of a 17th century Dutch painting, assumed to be the work of master Johannes Vermeer, and its journey through the centuries Girl In Hyacinth Blue is a series of tightly interwoven short stories that make a complete novel Each story is its own time capsule, taking us backward through eight owners personal histories and emotional ties to the painting, and each story becomes a bit compelling as we near the creation of the painting itself Along the way, a mystery develops about the parentage of a swaddled newborn left inside a skiff with the painting and a cryptic, hand scrawled message Sell the painting Feed the child The resolution of this mystery was perfect An entertaining escapist read with beautifully written characters and Netherlands landscapes and heartily recommended to anyone who liked Girl With A Pearl Earring or who appreciates stories about the timeless, personal power of art Now it became clear to her what made her love the girl in the painting It was her quietness A painting, after all, can t speak Yet she felt this girl, sitting inside a room but looking out, was probably quiet by nature, like she was But that didn t mean the girl didn t want anything Her face told her she probably wanted something so deep or so remote that she never dared breathe it but was thinking about it there by the window Hannah Vredenburg

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