Mysteries of the Rectangle by Siri Hustvedt
Essays on Painting

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From Siri Hustvedt, author of the bestselling novel What I Loved, comes this inspired collection of essays on painting. Here, Hustvedt concentrates her narrative gifts on the works of such masters as Francisco de Goya, Jan Vermeer, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Gerhard Richter, and Joan Mitchell.

Hustvedt is concerned with the very act of looking and the limitless rewards to be gleaned from sustained, careful attention. Unlike film and books, which progress over time, "Painting is there all at once," she writes, it is only with patience and repeated viewings that elusive meanings present themselves.

Through her own personal experiences, Hustvedt is able to reveal things until now hidden in plain sight: an egg like detail in Vermeer's Woman with a Pearl Necklace and the many hidden self-portraits in Goya's series of drawings, Los Caprichos, as well as in his infamous painting The Third of May. Most importantly, these essays exhibit the passion, thrill, and sheer pleasure of bewilderment a work of art can produce—if you simply take the time to look.


About Siri Hustvedt

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Siri Hustvedt is a novelist whose books include Enchantment of Lily Dahl and What I Loved. She makes her home in Brooklyn, New York.
Published January 1, 2005 by Princeton Architectural Pr. 208 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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At first, Hustvedt's choice of artists seems random or disjointed, but it becomes apparent that her work is driven by a deeper logic that unites these painters: still life, the power of dreams and the struggle to truly see the world-she finds a profound engagement with these themes in each of the...

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