This post is about an explanation of the ending of the novel “The Marriage Portrait” by Maggie O’Farrell. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions about the book. Let’s take a look at the FAQs first.
FAQs about the novel
Q. What is “The Marriage Portrait” by Maggie O’Farrell about?
The Marriage Portrait is a historical-fictional novel. It tells the story of Lucrezia de Medici, Duchess of Ferrara, and her troubled marriage to Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara.
Q. Who is Lucrezia de Medici, the protagonist of the novel?
Lucrezia de Medici is the central character in the novel. She is the daughter of Cosimo I de Medici and Eleanor of Toledo. She was known for her rebellious and intuitive nature.
Q. What is the trigger warning for this novel?
The novel contains themes of abusive relationships, cruelty, and violence. Readers should exercise caution if they are sensitive to these topics.
Q. What is the historical background of the novel?
The novel is set in the Renaissance period. It is based on the life of Lucrezia de Medici, a historical figure from the 16th century.
Q. What role does the marriage portrait play in the story?
The marriage portrait is a significant element in the novel. It was commissioned by Alfonso II and painted by Il Bastianino. It serves as a symbol of Lucrezia’s life and experiences in her marriage.
Q. What is the significance of the underpaintings in the story?
Underneath the small paintings of animals in the novel, the underpaintings consist of scenes with a common element, a girl looking off to the side. This element is symbolic and plays a role in the ending of the story.
Q. What is the overall theme or message of “The Marriage Portrait”?
The novel explores themes of marriage, power dynamics, betrayal, and the consequences of misunderstanding and cruelty within a relationship. It also covers the inner thoughts and feelings of its characters, especially Lucrezia.
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Ending explanation of The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell
Readers get a big surprise at the end of the story. The protagonist of the story, Lucrezia, tries to escape from her husband Alfonso. Because she is afraid that he wants to kill her. At night, she goes out wearing her maid Emilia‘s clothes and escapes.
Meanwhile, Alfonso and his friend believe Lucrezia is still in her bedroom. The gloomy room makes it difficult for them to see, and they are unable to identify her. So, believing that they are killing her, they strangle the woman sleeping on the bed. It’s a really sad and shocking moment.
Everyone agrees the next morning that Lucrezia’s condition caused her death. Despite the fact that he was the one who killed her, Alfonso portrays himself as being really upset about it.
But here’s the twist. Lucrezia isn’t really dead, she escaped, and she lives. She runs into the woods hoping to meet her friend Jacopo. She talks about moving to another country to live a happy life.
In the end, Lucrezia becomes an artist and enjoys her love for art. She creates beautiful animal paintings. Behind some of these animal paintings are hidden portraits of Lucrezia herself.
So the story takes an unexpected turn at the end. Lucrezia escapes and uses her art to express herself and preserve her memory.
In the end, we hope that this post explaining the ending of The Marriage Portrait has helped you.
Kamran is a literature graduate from a reputed university. He started his journey in the world of writing blogs in 2012. Over the years, his passion for writing and love of books evolved into a dedicated book blog. With a discerning eye from a literature lover, he offers reviews, summaries, and thought-provoking discussion questions.