Steve
Steve asked:

"Het is een op zich niet eens zo boeiend, nogal anekdotisch werk, maar het is [schilderkunstig] virtuoos." (p. 305)

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Jazz I think a literal translation of the sentence might read something like this:

“It is in itself a not so interesting, rather anecdotal work, but it is (painterly) virtuosic.”

In the first American edition, the same sentence, in David McKay’s translation, appears as:

“It’s not an especially gripping piece, but despite its anecdotal, sentimental quality, it shows the hand of a master painter.” (p. 260)

Now here’s the sentence in context:

“He also made successful copies of other well-known works around that time — such as an odd portrait of a boy with two leashed hounds by Jan Erasmus Quellinus II. The child poses in a showy, girlish outfit: a frilly, shimmering blue and pink dress. It’s not an especially gripping piece, but despite its anecdotal, sentimental quality, it shows the hand of a master painter. My grandfather may have chosen this typical product of the Antwerp Baroque simply because of the technical challenge involved in painting the iridescent fabric (and perhaps because of his own girlishness as a little boy, which he sometimes joked about; in the nineteenth century, boys were often dressed as girls until they were toilet trained, because a dress saved some dirty laundry). . . .”

If the question is whether this sentence describes the novel “War and Turpentine” in microcosm, then I don’t agree because it doesn’t quite make sense to me.
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