Art Talk: New Yorkers Are Obsessed With This Teeny Tiny Bird

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Record crowds are flocking to the Frick Collection on the Upper East Side to see a small painting of a bird created almost 400 years ago.

That's because "The Goldfinch," painted by Dutch artist Carel Fabritius in 1654, inspired Donna Tartt's new novel of the same name. According to the museum, a record 61,000 visitors have come to see the Dutch painting exhibit in which it is featured.

But does this bird deserve that much buzz?  "Definitely," said WNYC’s art critic Deborah Solomon in this interview. "I love that the novel is drawing so much attention to this most worthy, but unassuming and humble, masterpiece."

Solomon explained that The Goldfinch influenced Johannes Vermeer when he was creating a much more famous Dutch painting, "The Girl With a Pearl Earring," which is also now at the Frick. "You have to go see it to believe it," she said.

What do you think? Does the Goldfinch deserve all this attention? Leave a comment below.

"The Girl With a Pearl Earring," by Johannes Vermeer, 1665 (Courtesy of The Frick Collection)