If you’re interested in Dutch art of the seventeenth century, or in books about looking at paintings in general, then do try Laura Cumming’s recent book, Thunderclap. A Memoir of Art and Life and Sudden Death.
It was published in July by Chatto & Windus and deals with the life and times of Carel Fabritius, the painter of enigmatic and exquisite images such as The Goldfinch and A View of Delft, with a Musical Instrument Seller’s Stall, who died in the catastrophic explosion of the powder magazine on the outskirts of Delft in 1654. It explores his life and the lives of the painters who surrounded him. It’s also about how painters work and how we look – not just at what they paint, but also at the world around us.
The book has been produced with great care. It has excellent illustrations, delightfully clear type and is a joy to hold and read. Thoroughly recommended!