This short book tells an exciting true story and provides a little insight into the world of art collecting and authentication. For me, the best part was getting some perspective on how art connoisseurs view art. Reading various analyses of the portrait in question, which called attention to the tiniest of details and were written in terms so passionate as to verge on poetic, was literally eye-opening. By the end of the book, what had at first seemed to me an attractive, but not terribly fascinating, piece of art seemed worthy of more extended contemplation and I very much enjoyed the heightened sensitivity I felt to this portrait’s great beauty and demonstration of artistic skill.
My only complaint is a petty one – I wish the book’s cover didn’t look so very much like a cheap historical romance novel. I felt kind of embarrassed reading it in public.