Jane Anderson

In 1823 artist Christina Robertson realises her ambitions exhibiting at the Royal Academy and gives birth to a baby girl. But she is hiding a secret from husband James. In 2017 Anna Grieve sees Christina’s enormous portraits in the St Petersburg Hermitage Museum and hopes this might be her ancestor. Anna’s life is blighted by infertility worries, Christina must cope with a heartbreaking cycle of frequent births and losses. Both women flee to St Petersburg. Can they find happiness there?


‘The Paintress is a wonderful interpretation of the life of a forgotten Scottish artist, Christina Robertson. It is an absolute pleasure to read. I loved it – feeling myself safe in the hands of a natural storyteller. Jane Anderson explores themes of motherhood and creativity in a most thought-provoking and arresting way and made me realise what a miracle it was when women were allowed the space and time to create art at all, and therefore what a tragedy it was if the world then forgot and neglected them. Well, fortunately, thanks to this fascinating and immersive novel Christina Robertson is forgotten no more.

CATHERINE SIMPSON author of True Story, When I had a Little Sister & One Body 

‘Two intriguing stories woven together bring to life the achievements of real-life 19th century superstar artist Christina Robertson, doyenne of the Russian royal court and her many times great granddaughter, determined that her story won’t be forgotten. A thoroughly enjoyable read.’ – SARA SHERIDAN author of The Fair Botanist

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