Translated by from the original Icelandic by Sarah Bowen
When a wealthy patron donates a valuable landscape painting to Reykjavik’s art museum, the staff can hardly believe its luck. It was painted by one of Iceland’s most beloved artists, and the acquisition is sure to elevate the museum’s already sterling reputation.
For Hanna, a newly arrived art theorist, the acquisition is a chance to begin her job on a high note; after all, she’s something of an expert on the artist. But when the museum’s conservator suggests the painting might be a fake, Hanna realizes the museum’s reputation is not the only one in danger of crumbling.
And so she sets out to authenticate the painting, drawing on every ounce of skill that she possesses. What Hanna doesn’t know she vows to learn, venturing deep into the shadowy world of art forgery. Only then will she be able to strip away the varnish of the past to uncover the truth.
About the Author
Ragna Sigurdardottir is a native of Reykjavik, Iceland, and the author of five novels. She studied French and fine arts in Aix-en-Provence before attending the Icelandic School for Arts and Crafts. After earning a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Jan van Eyck Academy in the Netherlands, she worked as an artist and writer in Rotterdam and Denmark. She eventually returned home to Iceland, where she spent a decade working as an art critic for Icelandic newspapers. Currently she studies art theory at the University of Iceland and is writing her sixth novel. She lives with her husband and their two daughters on the outskirts of Reykjavik, just down the street from the North Atlantic Ocean.
A thought-provoking novel on the status of art in modern society, and art as a reflection of society, drawing upon real life cases of art forgeries in the financial boom years of post 2000 Iceland.