Title: Botticelli's Muse
Author: Dorah Blume
Publisher: Juice Box Artists Press
Publish Date: July 21, 2017
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "In 1477, Italian
Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli never thought his life was going to
be easy after being fired by his prestigious patron and friend Lorenzo
de' Medici. The artistic freedom Sandro is granted by an annoying new
patron half his age only increases the artist's paralysis and
depression. His creative well runs dry until the day he sees Floriana, a
Jewish weaver imprisoned in his sister's convent. But obstacles
threaten to keep his unlikely muse out of reach. So begins a tale of one
of the world's most beloved paintings, La Primavera, as
Sandro, a confirmed bachelor, and Floriana, a headstrong artist in her
own right, enter into the most turbulent of relationships."
My Two Cents:
"Botticelli's Muse" is the first of a planned trilogy about the life of the famous artist Botticelli. Botticelli is well known for his gorgeous and almost dream-like paintings. This book tackles Botticelli meeting Floriana, a gorgeous woman plucked from relative obscurity to become the muse for one of his most famous paintings: La Primavera.
You all already know that I love historical fiction but some of my favorite historical fiction always seems to have to do with art. It's easy to appreciate Botticelli's painting style and beauty but this book is a very thorough look behind the scenes. We get to see how he works and what makes him tick. We get to see what inspires him while still getting insight into him as a person. It's easy to lose sight of his reality when only looking at his paintings!
The writing of the book is largely good. There is, however, a lot of conversations throughout the book that tell much more than they show. This really made the book drag for me and took me out of the book. I think there were definitely parts that could have been slimmed down in order to increase the flow more. I wanted to be shown more about what was going on throughout the book!
One very nice touch that I enjoyed is that there are a lot of small illustrations throughout the book. While I don't think it was necessary to have illustrations, it add some additional interest to the book. They really set the tone for the chapters that they appear in. It's a small thing but it was nice to have some indication as to what the various characters and events in the book looked like!