.................ultramarine, what a fabulous colour, and this book makes me think of that colour all the time, I finished it very late last night while waiting for Dear Husband to return home from his third trip back to the hospital. I can't sleep when he's travelling backwards and forwards on cold foggy wintry nights dodging kangaroos out foraging. Anyway this very first novel Fugitive Blue by Australia author Claire Thomas is a great read if you like art and history, actually reminds me of 'Girl with a Pearl Earring', another of my favourite reads. Here is the back cover for you below, hope it entices you as it did me at the local library last week.
A beautiful, beguiling and multi-layered novel, Fugitive Blue tells the story of a young art conservator and her work on a fifteenth-century panel painting in striking ultramarine. As she restores the fragile artwork, her fascination with it grows. How did an inexperienced artist in Renaissance Venice come to possess such valuable art materials? Who has loved it? Relinquished it? Carried it with them across the world?
The story follows the painting from its controversial creation and reappearance centuries later during a nobleman’s Grand Tour of Europe, passing through Impressionist-era Paris, before its eventual arrival in Australia as one of the scarce possessions of a post-war Greek migrant family.
Against this shifting backdrop, the narrator’s own story of love and loss is gradually revealed.
I spent so much of time restoring things, trying to reclaim their original beauty. All day, I looked at deteriorating objects with their parts exposed like a person with her heart on the outside. I could touch these paintings, make a decision and watch them transform. Done. But then there was us.
Lyrical and intriguing, Fugitive Blue is a fluidly elegant novel that captures the essence of love’s fragility.