The Portrait, by Willem Jan Otten

Publisher: Scribe | Publication date: 11th September 2014 | Edition: Paperback

If you, like me, come into the world white and completely blank, with nothing on you at all, you are totally dependent on what they make of you…

The Portrait

The Portrait by Willem Jan Otten

A quite remarkable book, which speaks to you from the point of view of the portrait itself, as it waits patiently to be chosen and then painted by the famed artist, Felix Vincent, the ‘Creator’.

The writer successfully animates the portrait from it’s conception as a stark, white canvas, and you follow the journey until the moment it’s due to be signed. He allows it to have emotions, envy for other paintings, to describe the cold wall where it leans, and how it longs to be seen and therefore live. All this time, the portrait shares its experience with the artist, his wife, and what will probably be the most important commission of the Creator’s career.

To me, the portrait’s voice resembles that of a naïve child, inquisitive, then growing to learn exactly how to ‘be’. You may think that sounds like the book/writer is trying to be overly clever. It’s not. Despite one particular path in the book becoming a little dark, the original way in which the story was conveyed made it an absolute joy to read.

This relatively short book will take you by the hand and lead you down a touching and memorable road. Like I say, quite remarkable.

Rating: 4/5

(I must mention my thanks to the publisher, Scribe UK, for running the recent giveaway for this book.)

Follow Scribe Publications on Twitter: @ScribeUKbooks – they have some interesting and unusual titles.