Set in and around the court of Philip IV, The Painter to the King paints a portrait of seventeenth century Madrid, using the Virtuoso painter Diego Velázquez as its axis. Contemporary and immersive, deploying prose rich in image and metaphor, the novel has received effusive reviews in The Spectator, The Irish Times and from Sarah Perry in The Guardian, where it was featured as the book of the week earlier this month.
As Sarah Perry concludes:
“Novels about art and artistry are plentiful; many are very good. But in Painter to the King Sackville has written not only by far the finest novel of its kind that I have ever read, but one of the finest historical novels of recent years. For her skill and daring, her assured grasp of both subject and form, and her masterly chiaroscuro of human failure and endeavour, she is as distinct among her peers as Velázquez was among his.”
Amy Sackville is a senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the School of English. Her novel, Painter to the King, is published by Granta
Image courtesy of Museo Nacional del Prado