Select one of the keywords
The Miracles of Prato    by Laurie Albanese & Laura Morowitz order for
Miracles of Prato
by Laurie Albanese
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

It's pretty unusual to read a novel written by two authors, but I have to say (to my surprise) it works! In The Miracles of Prato, authors Albanese and Morowitz present a seamless story of the life and times surrounding Fra Filippo Lippi and his great love, the nun, Lucrezia Buti.

We are in the city of Prato, province of Tuscany, in the 15th century. There are churches everywhere as well as convents and monasteries, but the power of the religious is slowly being eaten away by the rise of the merchants. To the artist Fra Filippo Lippi, this means nothing. All he needs are his supplies, and for that he depends on his supporters - the Church and the Medicis. Oh, and he definitely needs a muse because he is working on what is to become one of his most famous works, The Madonna of Prato. A beautiful orphan and her sister have just arrived in Prato to become initiates to the Convent of Santa Margherita where he just happens to be the chaplain. And so begins the story.

Rich in details about the religious life in the 15th-century Renaissance, this work is equally dazzling in its ability to make us understand how it was to create works of art at that time. We learn how paints are mixed, what plants are used for color, how the paints are applied, how many helpers an artist had to have to make the frescos and altarpieces. Best of all we see how the artist struggles to be able to paint what it is he feels. Yet, this is not presented as a treatise, it's part of the story, which makes a very satisfying juxtaposition to the intrigues of the people. Artistic vision beautifully blended with historical detail make this a truly interesting read.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Historical books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews