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The Painter

Author: Davenport, Will Set In . . .
 Central America, Caribbean, Jamaica, Kingston, Oceans and Seas, Atlantic Ocean
Genre: Fiction
Time Frame: Various
Published: 2003
Description: ‘Thrilling resonance between past and present, painting and people’ - TONY PARSONS

January, 1662. The artist Rembrandt, bankrupt and drunk, stows away on a boat for Hull. To pay his passage, he must paint the captain’s portrait. For himself, he paints the captain’s beautiful wife, hoping to seduce her as he has many sitters before. But he has a rival – none other than the poet Andrew Marvell. Will it be a poem or a portrait that wins the favours of the captain’s passionate – and scheming – wife?

Hundreds of years later, the captain’s derelict house on the banks of the River Humber is being restored. Within its walls Amy Dale, a painter, discovers the traces of Rembrandt and Marvell’s artistic duel – and, crucially, the captain’s wife’s secret journal. As well as the story of the seduction, the journal gives a first-hand account of Rembrandt at work in Hull – on two portraits that have never come to light...

Amy keeps the journal secret – though she tells her lover. But that may have been a mistake. And as she paints a portrait of the man she is becoming involved with, so she uncovers the secrets of the past. For now it seems she is being drawn into a new triangle of deceit and seduction, over which the presence of Rembrandt hangs like a ghost...

This fine novel will appeal to fans of Girl with a Pearl Earring and Tulip Fever.

Will Davenport is also known by his real name, James Long. He was a correspondent for the BBC for many years, and now lives in Devon where he devotes his time to his twin passions of writing and archaeology. The Painter was Will's first novel, and was originally published in 2003.
  
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