The Last Painting of Sara De Vos by Dominic Smith is a fictional tale about the theft of a painting. Gliding between present and past, Smith weaves his tale around the painter and his aging owner, and the curator who intimately encounters both. The highly structured descriptions in the book are reminiscent of books like 100 Years of Solitude. Smith makes the tale of romance, detective work and curatorial work intriguing for his audience. Though at times a tad tedious, Smith weaves his reader into the history of the Dutch painting and shares with his reader the intimate privilege of owning a piece of the past.
From the stand point of a painter, it was nice to read a book that admittedly depicts the privileged few interested in Dutch female painters. In this book and in life, the link between good painting, good technique and commitment create a continuum which is what, as artists, we are all looking for.