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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 07/2017
  • 978-0-9981316-0-3
  • 528 pages
  • $24.95
Dorah Blume
Author, Illustrator
Botticelli's Muse
Dorah Blume, author

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Publish)

Relegated to an obscure Medici villa and the whims of an annoying patron half his age, Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli falls into a quagmire of indecision, insecurities, and depression. Once he meets Floriana, however, a Jewish weaver held prisoner at a nearby convent under the control of Sandro's estranged older sister Oslavia, everything changes. Although the Medicis hold the purse strings, Floriana—the inspiration behind his painting Primavera—holds his heart strings. And all the while, the religious fanatic Savonarola watches and waits to pounce and renounce Sandro's work and threaten the safety of his muse and her unborn child. A tanner's son, Sandro lives in a world of nobles, philosophers, and intellectuals, yet never belongs to it. Whether to love and leave his work behind, or love his work and leave his lover behind, Botticelli's divided loyalties torment him. How long can he refuse to choose?

Reviews
Set in Renaissance Italy, Blume’s interpretation of master painter Sandro Botticelli is at once a florid love story and a chilling political drama. Sensuous and provocative as well as mysterious, the novel follows Sandro’s troubled relationship with Florence’s ruling Medici family. He works under the patronage of Lorenzo de Medici until a sudden dismissal leads to a new benefactor, Lorenzo’s young cousin, Piero. During a visit to his sister’s nearby convent, Sandro meets Floriana, a captivating Jewish weaver who is a prisoner being forced to renounce her faith. Beguiled by her beauty and artistry with flowers, Sandro becomes inspired to create his iconic painting La Primavera. Sandro and Floriana fall in love, but Savonarola, a zealot priest with a violent past, is a threat to both. Meanwhile, a political conspiracy threatening the Medici family is gaining steam. Political unrest and an assassination that hits close to Sandro separate him from an expectant Floriana; he is placed under house arrest and forced to memorialize the political bloodbath with his art, an order he despises. Blume convincingly evokes the tumultuous time period; however, her passages involving lustful priests feel more gratuitous than necessary for the narrative. The prose is clear and precise and, despite the book’s length, the pace does not lag. (BookLife)

The price on this review has been corrected; it is $24.95, not $19.99

Sarah Cascone, Associate Editor, artnet News

In Dorah Blume’s capable hands, Renaissance Italy comes to life in all its complexity, historical fact deftly woven into a captivating narrative. Ostensibly the tale of the creation of Sandro Botticelli’s famed Primavera masterpiece, Botticelli’s Muse is in equal parts a story of artistic inspiration, political intrigue, religious faith, temptation, and yes, romance.

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 07/2017
  • 978-0-9981316-0-3
  • 528 pages
  • $24.95

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