The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

Dominic Smith


Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction





‘In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke’s in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain–a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she’s curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. As the three threads intersect, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerizes while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present.’

I have put off writing this review, as I am not entirely sure on how to word it all and convey my meaning effectively. I loved this book but I am not entirely sure why it is that I loved it.

It was a well-written story with clear transitions between the 1600s, 1950s and 2000s. This is not always the way with stories that jump between time periods. It was fascinating to learn about the forgery of paintings as well as what happens with suspected forgeries. The story was just incredibly interesting and I had a hard time putting it down and was disappointed when my reading time was interrupted.

It didn’t have that wow factor that I was hoping for.

My recommendation: Incredibly interesting for those into stories revolving around art.

Cai xx