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Set against a backdrop of political and religious conflicts in 15th-century Medici-ruled Florence, Kalogridis's bloody historical (after The Borgia Bride) identifies the subject of Leonardo da Vinci's painting as Lisa di Antonio Gherardini. Lisa was the daughter of Madonna Lucrezia, wife of a wealthy wool merchant who also enchanted both da Vinci and Lorenzo de' Medici's brother Giuliano, murdered by conspirators in 1478. Giuliano's assassination—and the later murder of Lucrezia—presage a reign of religious terror led by a monk known as Savonarola and the retreat of the Medicis in the face of invasion from France's King Charles. An adult Lisa attracts the romantic attentions of a young Medici scion, whom she marries for love. (His father, Lorenzo, commissions her portrait from da Vinci.) But violent events soon separate the couple and a brutal Savonarola follower tells Lisa that her husband is dead—and her father's life in danger—unless she marries him instead. Lisa survives, an avenging angel, proving herself worthy of da Vinci's immortal artistry. Kalogridis's fevered bodice ripper invents a passionate woman behind La Gioconda's enigmatic smile. (Nov.)
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After I finished reading the first one hundred pages or so, I wondered why this beautifully written book was not an international bestseller. Read morePublished 2 months ago by karsiyaka
Thoroughly enjoyed this love story with glimpses into the capabilities and techniques .of "The Gre at Leonardo". Read morePublished 3 months ago by Judy D
I was intrigued to read about the history of the most famous painting in the world. It is double interesting since the back ground is Florence, especially the Medici family. Read morePublished 3 months ago by albatross
(3.5 stars) This historical fiction is set in Florence during the period of the late 1400's and early 1500's. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Michelle Boytim
The story is just a romance too much fiction. I'll try to read something more about Jeanne Kalogrids. Let's talk about againPublished 17 months ago by Amazon Customer