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   Cupid and the Silent Goddess

Cupid and the Silent Goddess

Author: Fisk, Alan Set In . . .
 Europe, Italy, Florence
Genre: Historical Novel
Time Frame: 1500s
Published: 2003
Description: The painting Allegory with Venus and Cupid has long fascinated visitors to London’s National Gallery, as well as the millions more who have seen it reproduced in books. It is one of the most beautiful paintings of the nude ever made.

In 1544, Duke Cosimo de’ Medici of Florence commissioned the artist Bronzino to create the painting to be sent as a diplomatic gift to King François I of France.

As well as the academic mystery of what the strange figures in the painting represent, there is a human mystery: who were the models in the Florence of 1544 who posed for the gods and strange creatures?

Alan Fisk’s Cupid and the Silent Goddess imagines how the creation of this painting might have touched the lives of everyone who was involved with it: Bronzino’s apprentice Giuseppe, the mute and mysterious Angelina who is forced to model for Venus, the brutal sculptor Baccio Bandinelli and his son, and the good-hearted nun Sister Benedicta and her friend the old English priest Father Fleccia, both secret practitioners of alchemy.

As the painting takes shape, it causes episodes of fear and cruelty, but the ending lies perhaps in the gift of Venus.

‘A witty and entertaining romp set in the seedy world of Italian Renaissance artists.’ Award-winning historical novelist Elizabeth Chadwick (The Falcons of Montabard, The Winter Mantle).

'Alan Fisk, in his book Cupid and the Silent Goddess, captures the atmosphere of sixteenth-century Florence and the world of the artists excellently. This is a fascinating imaginative reconstruction of the events during the painting of Allegory with Venus and Cupid.' Marina Oliver, author of many historical novels and of Writing Historical Fiction.

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