The world’s most beautiful art gallery (but nobody goes there)


The film version of Donna Tartt’s novel, The Goldfinch, which is released next week, is unlikely to prove popular with the world’s museums. The story begins with an art lover’s nightmare – a terrorist’s bomb exploding in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It then centres around a 17th-century painting of a goldfinch that one of the surviving victims removes from the rubble.  

It’s a real painting, by one of Rembrandt’s most gifted pupils, Carel Fabritius, who died aged 32 when his studio (and much of the town of Delft) was destroyed by an exploding powder magazine in 1654. Presumably Tartt had this tragic event in mind when she conceived the opening of her novel. 

The tiny picture shows…

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