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