Oil and Marble: A Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo – by Stephanie Storey – independent book review – Historical Fiction (Italy)

GREAT premise, Mediocre execution. Awarded 2 stars on Goodreads.

OilMarbleI picked this book out because I have an interest in Renaissance history, art, and Leonardo and Michelangelo specifically. I was intrigued by the synopsis where the author imagines how the two artists might have interacted in Florence, since there was a period of a few years when they both lived there. But I was disappointed.

The imagined story of how Leonardo and Michelangelo might have spurred each to greatness through ego and competition, ending for one with the creation of the Mona Lisa and for the other with the creation of the sculpture David, did NOT turn out to be all that interesting a novel. I never particularly cared about either man. Even the appearances of Cesare Borgia, Machiavelli, and Botticelli (other contemporaries) did not add much to the narrative. Despite valiant effort, the author never did capture the essence of either artist.

Stephanie Storey (Courtesy of Twitter)

I kept reading to see if I became more interested and it does pick up a bit nearer the end. But overall, not worth the effort.

More about Stephanie Storey.


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