This is a challenging but rewarding look at the life of Spanish painter Diego Velazquez. Much of the prose here feels like Amy Sackville is painting with words. While the artist she discusses is known for realistic creations this book is very much the opposite of that. Here we have beautiful images created through words that somehow weave together a story framed by a narrator looking back on the life of an artist through his own works. If that sounds a little unusual, it’s because this book is just that. Unusual, odd, challenging, rewarding, poignant, modern yet classical.
This book resists obvious classification. I am not sure exactly who I could recommend this to. However, I would have doubted my own enjoyment of this book given that I had never heard of the artist, had never seen his works and I have little interest in the historical period covered. And yet, I still really enjoyed it. So, if you’re in the market for something a little different, I guess I would advise giving this a go.