About the Book

In the suffocating atmosphere of the Third Reich, art becomes a political issue. When the renowned modern artist Dietrich Junger is condemned by Hitler’s puritanical artistic purge, his daughter Anke finds herself abandoned by the two men she loved most. One is dead; one has fled. An expert on the object of Nazi obsession, the medieval Ghent Altarpiece, Anke is threatened by those desperate to loot Europe’s great treasures. She must walk a tightrope between her desire to rebel and her instinct to survive. Erik Brossler, a young Jewish art historian, is the man who fled, emigrating to America with his parents just in time. Erik is haunted by the loss of Anke and the imminent danger for Europe’s priceless art. When America enters the war, Erik’s new journey takes him right into the heart of the inferno, brings him to the breaking point, and returns to him the great love of his life. From historian and author Lauren Fogle Boyd comes a harrowing and heartwarming story about love, art, and humanity–in a Europe devastated by war and atrocity.

“With The Altarpiece, Boyd has written a novel of impressive depth and human warmth. She has brought to life a fascinating and moving episode of history, taking the reader across continents, across time. Vivid, thought-provoking, and moving, this is an account of war, a story of love, and a tale of intrigue. The Ghent Altarpiece is one of the most beloved artworks of human history, and Boyd’s novel shows us how a painting can grip the soul, and how its loss and liberation can become emblematic of the trials and tribulations of war, its recovery an analogy for the triumph of humanity.”


–Heidi Gearhart, PhD

Assistant Professor of Art History Assumption College