Thunderclap: A Memoir of Art and Life & Sudden Death

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.


Biography & Memoir > Non-Fiction

ISBN: 9781529922530



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.

Superb…this book taught me to see anew’ – Daily Telegraph

A book that often borders on the sublime in its sentiment and beauty’ – Sunday Times

Brilliant’ – Edmund de Waal

Captivating’ – Nina Stibbe

Extraordinary’ – India Knight




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Additional information

Weight 0.4 kg
Dimensions 20 × 13 × 5 cm