‘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.’
A young painter, loved for his fine and true-to-life portraits, receives a commission that is unlike any he’s had before: make a portrait of a dead boy. ‘You will save a life with it,’ says the boy’s extremely rich father. The painter knows he will have to surpass himself. He takes on the job. But who was the boy? Why is he dead? Why, when the painting is finished, does the father not come to collect it? And why does the artist undertake this painting?
The Portrait is a thrilling novel about the desire to bring someone into the world. But it is also about love and death, betrayal and trust, and truth and falsehood.