Title: I am Venus
Author: Bárbara Mujica
Publish Date: June 13, 2013
Source: TLC Book Tours
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "The year is 1619, and
Diego Velázquez is a rising star at an art academy in Seville run by his
father-in-law. But even as his young wife builds him a family, the
painter yearns for a larger canvas, and soon his ambition lands him at
the court of King Philip IV, where he quickly gains prominence, just as
Spain is plunged into military defeat and domestic chaos.
as he gains nobility and privilege, Velázquez encounters the sinful
decadence that defines the regime. At the heart of this most
conservative country, its ruling class breaks every rule that the masses
must obey. As he finds himself torn between loyalty to family and the
easy seductions of power, Velázquez decides to take on his riskiest
painting yet, which could, in a stroke, land him in the claws of the
A sweeping story of scandal and passion, and a vivid recreation of a corrupt kingdom on the brink of collapse, I Am Venus is a thrilling novel that brings to life the public and private worlds of Spain’s greatest painter."
My Two Cents:
"I am Venus" is the story of famous Spanish artist, Diego Velazquez. Velazquez was ahead of his time in many ways. Some of his art was considered quite scandalous in his day. You all know that I love historical fiction but I absolutely adore historical fiction that has something to do with historical figures I really like and/or art. This book has both.
This book was a really interesting glimpse of the life of the artist with a focus on the women he knew. I didn't know much about Velazquez's life before reading this book but I really enjoyed a lot of his paintings. He was so talented! The book focuses a lot on his wife. Parts of the book are narrated by the woman who posed for one of his most famous paintings. We get a really interesting view of the artist since he is sort of kept at arm's length through this book.
The narration of the book was interesting to me. I wanted to know more about the model. Her first narration really brought me into the story but I wanted more of her throughout the book.
Overall, this was a really interesting tale. I loved, loved, loved the setting and the interplay between Velazquez and the royalty in the book.