This is a short and extremely powerful new novel from one of Holland’s greatest living writers. Reminiscent of Oscar Wilde’s THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY a novel narrated by a canvas, an extraordinary eye-witness and participant in an extraordinary story. 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. Who was the boy? Why is he dead? Why, when the painting is finished, does the father not come to collect it? And why is the painter actually making this painting? THE PORTRAIT is an extraordinarily thrilling novel about the desire to bring someone into the world. But also about love and death, betrayal and trust, truth and falsehood, lies and honesty. It’s breathtaking how Willem Jan Otten, with all the story-telling talent he has at his disposal, plays with secrets and riddles that the reader can only unravel at the very end. As he did in his previous novel (NOTHING WRONG WITH US) Otten once again shows that he can write in a much shorter space than many of his contemporaries, an ingenious, contemporary and extraordinarily gripping novel.