Francesca’s father is a well-known painter in the bustling port city of Amsterdam; he is also a gambler. Though their household is in economic chaos, thankfully the lessons she learned in his studio have prepared her to study with Johannes Vermeer, the master of Delft.
When she arrives to begin her apprenticeship, Francesca is stunned to find rules, written in her father’s hand, insisting that she give up the freedoms she once enjoyed at home- including her friendship with Pieter van Doorne, a tulip merchant. Unaware of a terrible bargain her father has made against her future, Francesca pursues her growing affection for Pieter even as she learns to paint like Vermeer, in layers of light. As her talent blooms, “tulip mania” sweeps the land, and fortunes are being made on a single bulb. What seems like a boon for Pieter instead reveals the extent of the betrayal of Francesca’s father. And as the two learn the true nature of the obstacles in their path, a patron of Francesca’s father determines to do anything in his power to ensure she stays within the limits that have been set for her.
The Golden Tulip brings one of the most exciting periods of Dutch history alive, creating a page-turning novel that is as vivid and unforgettable as a Vermeer painting.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Golden Tulip|
|Release Date: 11-27-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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The Golden Tulip
Chapter 1 f For as long as ten-year-old Francesca Visser could remember she had been intensely aware of the colors of her world. The golden gleam of her mother’s neatly dressed hair. The azure sparkle of Amsterdam’s many canals under a summer sky and their frosty gray-green brilliance when frozen. Tall russet roofs made pale by mist and the ruby hues of tulips in the flower beds of the rear courtyard of her home. Above all else the treasure trove of her father’s studio, where a few drops of linseed oil could make the powdery pigments, dark in their storage jars, burst gloriously into vermilion, lime yellow, deep blue and velvet purple for his palette and her own. Yet today as she posed for him, wearing her best gown and seated on the studio rostrum, everything seemed somber and shaded. A great crisis was looming up in the household and at the present time only she knew about it. She hugged the secret knowledge to herself, her heart heavy, and was afraid. The house and the studio itself were as normal. There was the familiar slap of Hendrick Visser’s dog’s-hair brush against his canvas and the distant clatter of pots in the kitchen, where Griet, the maidservant, was preparing the noon meal under the direction of old Maria, who had been nurse to Francesca’s mother and aunt before taking charge of the next generation. From beyond the diamond-paned windows came the slow clop of a horse’s hooves as it pulled a loaded barge along the canal that divided the length of the street outside. “You’re letting your head droop, Francesca. Raise your chin.” “Yes, Papa.” As Francesca obeyed, shaking back her coppery hair, she...