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Art in "The Goldfinch"

Artworks mentioned in Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch." As this is Pinterest, read from the bottom up -- there may be MINOR SPOILERS in some of the descriptions. I am not an art history person and welcome any additions or corrections! Shoot me an e-mail at lpetelle at yahoo or visit me at

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Art in "The Goldfinch"

Art in "The Goldfinch"

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"It's there in the light-rinsed atmosphere, the brush strokes he permits us to see, up close, for exactly what they are -- hand worked flashes of pigment, the very passage of the bristles visible -- and then, at a distance, the miracle, or the joke as Horst called it, although really it's both, the slide of transubstantiation where paint is paint and yet also feather and bone." p.766

File:Fabritius-vink.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Vera Long
    Vera Long

    Love it! Thank you, Laura Petelle!

  • Brenda Wegner
    Brenda Wegner

    Thank you so much for compiling this board.

  • Yvonne Smith
    Yvonne Smith

    What a joy to come across this today in my own quest to research the works in the book "The Goldfinch". Thank you Laura, you are so clever!

  • Chris Paredes
    Chris Paredes

    Thanks for making this!

Flowers in a Crystal Vase, Edouard Manet, ca. 1882, p.754. ("One -- flowers in a glass -- I dimly recognized as a Manet." One of a few flowers-in-glasses by Manet.)

Needlework sampler, Alice Mather, 1774, p.749. (Example of sampler similar to gift for Hobie: "a child's needlework sampler, vine-curled alphabet and numerals, stylized farm animals worked in crewel, Marry Sturtevant Her Sample-r Aged 11 1779." This appears to be cross-stitch, not crewel-work.)

Florence Griswold Museum | Home of American Impressionism

A Lady and Gentleman in Black, Rembrandt, 1633, p.741. Perhaps the Rembrandt recovered by Boris's tip ("people in a dark room"), stolen in the same heist as the Rembrandt seascape in 1990. Has not resurfaced.

Christ in the Storm on the Lake of Galilee, Rembrandt, 1633, p.741. This is the painting that Theo hopes has been recovered ("One was a Rembrandt." "Not a seascape?" "No -- people in a dark room."). Stolen in 1990, still missing; one of the most famous and valuable missing artworks in the world.

Strand von Scheveningen bei stürmischen Wetter, Vincent Van Gogh, 1882, p.741. This is probably the Van Gogh seashore that is recovered through Boris's tip. Stolen in 2002 and has not resurfaced.

White Duck, Jean Baptiste Oudry, 1753, p.741, stolen in 1992; has not resurfaced. Perhaps the painting of a "dead duck" recovered by Boris's tip.

A view of the Maas with Dordrecht beyond, Jan van Goyen, 1640, p.580 (example; "I much prefer the van Goyen there ... many amusing details up close -- tiny hunter, barking dog. Also -- quite typical -- signed on the stern of the boat." This painting is signed on the rowboat.)

Italian Landscape with Mountain Plateau, Nicolaes Berchem, 1655, 13"x17", p. 577-8 ("Still, the Berchem is very good ... this is lovely ... Italy, 1655 ..... the ochres beautiful, no?")

Vanitas, Pieter Claesz, 1625, p.577 ("the Claesz and Berchem are for sale if you're interested ... Pieter ... the reflection of the flame here? and the edge of the table, the drapery?")

Pieter Claesz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tapestry from Amiens, ca. 1650, p.572 & 582 (an example; "a tapestry, a good one too, eighteenth century or older, the near twin of an Amiens I'd seen at auction [for 40,000 pounds] ... [with a mythological subject].")

The Hundred Guilder Print, Rembrandt, 1646-50, p.569 ("the Hundred Guilder Print as it was called: the price that Rembrandt himself, according to legend, had been forced to pay to buy it back.")

Still Life of Flowers, Fruit, Shells, and Insects by Balthasar van der Ast, 1629, p.498 (example; "and two loaned van der Asts")

Drake-Front Queen Anne Highboy, New England, antique but refinished, appraised $200,000 intact, $30,000 refinished, p.496 ("We had an important drake-front highboy, Queen Anne, that during the lean days I'd tried despairingly to sell at the correct price, which on the low end was somewhere in the two hundred thousand range.")

Queen Anne Highboy, ca. 1770 on Antiques Roadshow

Thomas Affleck Chest-on-Chest, sold at auction for $882,500; Theo passed off Hobie's work as an Affleck chest-on-chest to Lucius Reeve, for $75,000, p.492 ("if he thought that chest was an Affleck, he has more money than sense. To pay seventy-five thousand --")

Queen Anne lowboy in Walnut (not mahogany) from Salem MA Area, 18th C, p.468 ("a mahogany lowboy -- Queen Anne, Salem Massachusetts -- that had been in her mother's familiy since the 1760s.")

Portrait of Mary Clarke, John Singleton Copley, late 1700s, p.446 ("or the John Singleton Copley -- you know, the oval portrait, the tiny one, girl in the bonnet?")

Still Life with Cake, Raphaelle Peale, ca. 1822, p.446 (example; "my Raphaelle Peale")

Starlight in Harbor, Fitz Henry Lane, ca.1855, p.446 (example; "my Fitz Henry Lane")

Twilight in the Wilderness, Frederic Church, 1860, p.446 (example; "The Frederic Church landscape ...")

Card table, unknown artist originally attributed to Duncan Phyfe, 1810-20, p.444 ("A mahogany games table that from where I stood looked like it might be Duncan Phyfe")

Rest on the Flight into Egypt, School of Rembrandt, 1620-69, p.443 ("nine or ten Old Master drawings: the flight into Egypt ... circle of Rembrandt mostly")

Christ washing the feet of his disciples, Rembrandt, 1665, p.443 ("there was a tiny pen-and-brown-ink of Christ washing the feet of St. Peter that was so deftly done ... it might have been from Rembrandt's own hand.")

Two Studies of a Baby with a Bottle, Rembrandt van Rijn

Herman Doomer, Rembrandt, 1640, p.402 (example; in the current Met holdings for Rembrandt; "Police, acting on a tip, had recovered three paintings -- a George van der Mijn; a Wybrand Hendriks; and a Rembrandt, all missing from the museum since the explosion -- from a Bronx home.")

Wernerus Köhne met zijn knecht Jan Bosch, Wybrand Hendriks, 1787, p.402 (example; "Police, acting on a tip, had recovered three paintings -- a George van der Mijn; a Wybrand Hendriks; and a Rembrandt, all missing from the museum since the explosion -- from a Bronx home.")