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  • Writer's pictureJosette Abruzzini

WHAT IF a painting you've featured in your novel... inspires a hit movie?

With the Goldfinch movie being released this weekend, I couldn't help but post this segment from my (as yet unpublished) historical novel. The Fabritius painting is featured both in the movie and (in a small way) in the novel that I've been writing.There's little context provided, but I hope you like it anyway!


I opened the door to the Mechelen Inn and noticed the painting had been nailed to the wall, just inside the entrance. The Goldfinch, by Fabritius, God rest his soul.

Johann had been one of his only students to survive the Thunderclap disaster. Who better to hang it in his tavern and share it with the rest of us?

It had been recovered from the massive fires and was destined to belong to all.

My eyes paused at the sight of the thin chain tethered to the bird. How ironic that this captive creature was all that survived from the artist’s studio that awful morning, flying from the scene on the slab of wood that Fabritius had used as a canvas.

My own denied freedoms came to mind – my brief parenthood, the university education that was denied me. Like the restrained goldfinch, I persevered. And so did the painting.

Long shadows cast across the dim, smoky room. A few men were sitting around a low table near the simmering hearth.

“Antoni,” cried Johann at the sight of me. The sound of his voice sent a pang of guilt through me. I’d not come by in a while. “Come sit with us," he said. "Do you know Peter?”

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