Painter to the King
This is a portrait of Diego Velázquez, from his arrival at the court of King Philip IV of Spain, to his death 38 years and scores of paintings later. It is a portrait of a relationship that is not quite a friendship, between an artist and his subject. It is a portrait of a ruler, always on duty, and increasingly burdened by a life of public expectation and repeated private grief. And it is a portrait of a court collapsing under the weight of its own excess. Unfolding through a series of masterly set-pieces and glancing sketches, this is a novel of brilliance, imagination and sheer style about what is shown and what is seen, about art and life.
About the Author
Amy Sackville is the author of The Still Point which won the John Llewellyn Rhys award and was longlisted for the Orange Prize and Orkney which won a Somerset Maugham Award. She studied English and Theatre Studies at Leeds and last year completed the MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths.
In only her third novel, Painter to the King, Amy Sackville, with her supremely assured and innovative prose, takes the reader on a journey back to 17th century Spain. Employing the device of a contemporary narrator, she successfully links the Madrid and Seville of Philip IV and his court painter, Diegeo Velázquez, with the present day. Throughout, Sackville demonstrates an easy and confident visual literacy when referencing many of his paintings with a unique approach that will entice the reader to look afresh or for the first time at Velázquez’s work. Cork City Libraries, Ireland