This novel is an interesting mixture of love, violence, intrigue and most importantly the search for perfection in art. The setting is post Renaissance Florence in 1691 and the reader will learn much about a period before the Enlightenment. Written with elegance, the atmosphere of danger and persecution is brilliantly conveyed. A real departure from the author's usual style and subject matter.
I followed him into a long, cold room. Lying on a marbled-topped table was the naked body of a girl, her skin mauve - white and damp - looking. Her hips and ribs were streaked with mud, and weeds had wrapped themselves around her legs. Her hair was an autumnal colour, not brown or red or gold, but somewhere in-between, and a few coiling ringlets had slipped over the edge of the slab and hung halfway to the floor. ... 'A beauty, isn't she?' Pampoloni said.