Author: Jill Foulston

What likeness is there between an image and its subject? In capturing one, do you risk losing the other?

Jan van Eyck’s enigmatic Arnolfini Portrait is a painting with a mystery at its heart, for the woman in the portrait has never been identified.

Set in fifteenth-century Bruges, Likeness tells the story of the troubled marriage between the patron of the painting, a rich Italian cloth merchant, and a woman who is herself a valuable commodity, passed from one wealthy family to another. Slowly, the thread that holds Giovanni and Costanza Arnolfini together begins to unravel, and in a surprising twist, we suddenly see what is really in the picture . . .

In the tradition of Jessie Burton, Tracy Chevalier and Michèle Desbordes, Likeness is a taut and skillful novel that draws us into a dazzling, unfamiliar world.

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