Da Vinci's Tiger

Da Vinci's Tiger

Book - 2015
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For fans of rich and complex historical novels like Girl with a Pearl Earring or Code Name Verity, Laura Malone Elliott delivers the stunning tale of real-life Renaissance woman Ginevra de' Benci, the inspiration for one of Leonardo da Vinci's earliest masterpieces. 

The young and beautiful daughter of a wealthy family, Ginevra longs to share her poetry and participate in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence but is trapped in an arranged marriage in a society dictated by men. The arrival of the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers. Bembo chooses Ginevra as his Platonic muse and commissions a portrait of her by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them, one Ginevra only begins to understand. In a rich and vivid world of exquisite art with a dangerous underbelly of deadly political feuds, Ginevra faces many challenges to discover her voice and artistic companionship--and to find love.

Publisher: New York :, Katherine Tegen Books,, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780060744243
Branch Call Number: YA ELL


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Dec 12, 2016

For someone who doesn't particularly like historical fiction that often, this novel actually made me very content that I picked it up. The whole romance was entangled with history and events that made the story flow and not seem mechanical at all. The protagonist is fiery and it shines through her many actions. The characters are all brought to life very nicely, in contrast with many novels I have read before. The cover art was done very nicely. I feel as though people who liked Leonardo DeVinci-related stuff should go read The DaVinci Code, recommended to me by a friend. 4.5/5 stars.
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Oct 21, 2015

This is an odd little novel, the story of Ginevra de' Benici, the subject of a portrait by da Vinci that visitors to the National Gallery in DC will be quite familiar with. The book is clearly meticulously researched, and chock-full of historical detail about life in Renaissance Italy that is likely to appeal to history buffs; however, the first half of the novel is bogged down by this excess of detail, making the book hard to fully engage with. It picks up steam in the second half, though, and Elliot's portrayal of the relationship between da Vinci and his subject is fascinating. By the end of the book, I was hooked--the entire endeavor is both thoughtful and thought-provoking--but I think teen and adult readers alike will wish the book was a bit faster to start, even if the ending makes it worth the wait.

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