Thunderclap: A Memoir of Art and Life & Sudden Death

by Laura Cumming


Thunderclap: A Memoir of Art and Life & Sudden Death by Laura Cumming. A beautifully illustrated new memoir of a life in art, a father and daughter, and what a shared love of a painting can come to mean.

On the morning of 12 October 1654, a gunpowder explosion devastated the Dutch city of Delft. Among the fatalities was the painter Carel Fabritius, dead at thirty-two, leaving behind his haunting masterpiece The Goldfinch.

Thunderclap explores what happened to Fabritius before and after the disaster whilst interweaving the lives of Laura Cumming, her painter father and the great artists of the Dutch Golden Age. It takes the reader from seventeenth-century Delft to twentieth-century Scottish islands, from Rembrandt's studio to wartime America and contemporary London. This is a book about what a picture may come to mean, how it can enter your life and change your thinking in a thunderclap.

Laura Cumming is an author and has been chief art critic of the Observer since 1999. 

An author's talk about the book will be held online and at the Taylorian Institute on 23 May 2024 as part of the Ashmolean's Making A Mark season. Find out more details about the talk through this link LAURA CUMMING AUTHOR TALK | Ashmolean Museum 


Book contains: 272 pages.