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Oil and Marble: A Novel of Leonardo and…

Oil and Marble: A Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo

by Stephanie Storey

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858209,580 (3.67)10



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I enjoyed this historical fiction book. As far as claims that the book is not historically accurate, if I wanted historical accuracy then I would read a history book. Fiction is solely to entertain and his book does that. It captures the passion, insecurity and envy of the artists. Good book. ( )
  scot2 | Apr 14, 2019 |
My favorite character was Machiavelli - this is a fresh eyed way to tell his story. The rivalry between Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo feels a bit dusty. Reconciling the fantastic imagery of Leonardo da Vinci 's battlefield savior with the Lisa Gherardini who ostensibly posed for the portrait that sits behind rings of tourists in the Louvre is too big a job for this reader. ( )
  nkmunn | Nov 17, 2018 |
In 1500 young Michelangelo had just finished his first masterpiece, The Pieta. He decided to return to his birthplace, Florence, renowned as a cradle for the arts. Among the many talented artists in residence was Leonardo da Vinci, a master in his prime. Leonardo was flamboyant, overbearing, and constantly experimenting with everything from new styles of paint and painting to war machines and flying.

The two were rivals, never friends. However, they recognized each others' genius while at the same time they were fierce competitors. During the next few years, Michelangelo's David was created as well as Leonardo's Mona Lisa.

Both men are well realized by the author; Michelangelo, reviled by his family for insisting on being a sculptor which they considered to be nothing more than a lowly type of stone mason; Leonardo, the bastard, never able to be recognized by his father and never quite finishing his commissions.

This quick, entertaining story was a selection for my book club. The many details of the amazing time in art history and the complicated political situation appealed to most of the members. A few commented that it lacked depth, perhaps almost falling into the YA category. The author is a writer for TV and films and one could easily imagine this as a visual production. ( )
1 vote streamsong | Feb 27, 2018 |
Stephanie Storey imagines a rivalry between two artists, the very young Michaelangelo, whose Pieta had just stunned viewers in Rome, and the aging master Leonardo DaVinci. Her research discovered that the two men were both working in Florence from 1501-1505, Michaelangelo on his David and DaVinci on the Mona Lisa. Although there is no evidence that the two ever met, she imagines a rivalry that becomes the heart of the novel. Told in chapters alternatively focusing on the two artists, she fleshes out their personalities, details the political turmoil of the times, and studies their successes and failures. Much of Michaelangelo's story revolves around his love for his family, even after his father banishes him for following his drive to sculpt. DaVinci is torn between so many interests that most of his projects remain unfinished.

While I enjoyed the novel, it's not one that really impressed me or will stick with me now that I've finished it. ( )
  Cariola | Mar 26, 2017 |
The novel covers the time in Florence when two of the greatest artists were in the city at the same time (1501-1505). It tells the tale of their rivalry and their unique personalities. Good rad! ( )
  creighley | Nov 16, 2016 |
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Florence, 1501-1505. Leonardo was a charming, handsome fifty year-old at the peak of his career. Michelangelo was a temperamental sculptor in his mid-twenties, desperate to make a name for himself. After winning the commission to carve what will become a sculpture of David, Michelangelo lives at the foot of his misshapen block of marble struggling until the stone finally begins to speak. Leonardo is obsessed with his ungainly flying machine and haunted by a merchant's wife, whom he is commissioned to paint. Her name is Lisa, and she becomes his muse. Their envy, ambition, and artistic genius create a rivalry such as Florence has never seen.… (more)

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