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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin

lawyer and the painting she has forged which might now be sold to an “art gallery in New South, Wales” where she is employed. The mystery of what happens to the painting, the lawyer, and the forger creates a suspense that will leave the reader perplexed until the end of the novel. This reviewer highly recommends another work of Dominic Smith, inasmuch as his other novels revolve around completely different subjects than this, his latest. For instance, one is a roman à clef of the life of Louis Daguerre, the Frenchman who co-invented the photograph camera, who was also an accomplished artist of his era. His daguerreotype, with a camera obscura, and fame resulted in his name, among others, being placed on the Eiffel Tower. It is recommended to you along with the other works of Dominic Smith. G Book Review Robert R. Kracke THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS & THE MERCURY VISIONS OF LOUIS DAGUERRE Both by Dominic Smith Farrar, Straus & Giroux This author, Dominic Smith, is new to this reviewer. This reviewer enjoyed these novels so much that he is now on his third or fourth Dominic Smith novel and has found every one of them to be very engaging, well written and scholarly. This first novel, (de Vos), is about a Dutch painter who was fictionally one of the first women admitted to the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke, a Dutch painter’s guild of the 17th Century. Sara de Vos is probably based upon the real Dutch painter Judith Leyster (the reader can Google Judith Leyster and see some of her work). The author, who is originally from Australia and presently lives in Texas, makes the following statement at the beginning of the novel, “Although this is a work of fiction, the novel uses such historical gaps as a springboard for invention. For the sake of storytelling, it fuses biographical details from several women’s lives of the Dutch Golden Age.” The plot line revolves around a painting which the author calls “At the Edge of a Wood” by “Sara de Vos”. Of course, At the Edge of a Wood is a fictional painting around which the author creates a plot spanning several centuries from the 1630's through the 1950's and the year 2000. It begins by telling the “story” of Sara deVos and her husband who were members of the Amsterdam Artists’ Guild of St. Luke. In the novel Sara de Vos paints a picture of her daughter at the edge of a wooded area looking down on skaters on a frozen river. The scene then shifts from 1630 to a very affluent Manhattan lawyer by the name of Marty de Groot set in 1958. “At the Edge of a Wood” is stolen from his apartment and later ends up in the hands of an art restorer by the name of Ellie Shipley who is an art historian and former forger of paintings. Ellie has come to New York being a native born Australian after being rebuffed by the art community of London. Ellie is asked to copy the stolen de Vos painting not knowing it is stolen. Meanwhile the lawyer, Marty, is disturbed by the theft of his painting. He hires a private investigator to track the painting down and the investigator locates the art restorer/forger, Ellie. The scene shifts again to 2000 when Ellie returns to Australia and becomes an art historian and learns the truth about the Editor Robert R. Kracke 32 Birmingham Bar Association


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin
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