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The Sidewalk Artist

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  232 ratings  ·  47 reviews
"A fantasia of a double tale skimming through the art capitals of Europe with double muses, double love pursuits, double Raphaels, even double authors, a tale dripping with idealized romantic settings, mystery, art, and a touch of magic, The Sidewalk Artist will keep readers wondering what is real and what is artifice--as fine paintings always do."
--Susan Vreeland, author...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2006)
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Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy ChevalierThe Da Vinci Code by Dan BrownThe Birth of Venus by Sarah DunantThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeThe Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
Art & Artists in Fiction
126th out of 398 books — 666 voters
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127th out of 360 books — 398 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 569)
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Marga Vr
Oct 08, 2007 Marga Vr rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any woman !
Jeanne Kalogridis, the writer of THE BORGIA BRIDE AND I, MONA LISA, sums it up perfectly, "A deliciously dreamlike tale of modern love and Renaissance romance"

this book has not been treated kindly by the reviewers who like point out errors in logic and flights of fancy gone somewhat overboard. But I loved reading it and certainly recommend it to any woman in need of a flight of fancy , it's so harmlessly romantic, a "why not " book !
A love story across the ages. Writer Tulia Rose goes to France on a trip financed by her wealthy Wall Street boyfriend to give them some "time apart." She stops to admire the work of a sidewalk artist who has created an amazing version of Raphael's cherubs. His first words to her are "I thought you weren't coming." There is instant attraction. Depending on how you look at it, what follows is either brilliant romance or incredibly creepy. I'll give the authors credit for at least making Tulia thi...more
Have you ever heard a melody so sweet and perfect that it stays with you long after you've walked away? This book left me with just that kind of feeling.

The premise is that a wannabe novelist goes to France, meets this sidewalk artist who may be named Rafael, falls in love, gets inspired to write the story of the famous Rafael and his secret lover...and is forever changed by the experience.

But what makes this so beautiful and memorable is a unique way of writing and description that draws you in...more
A love story within a love story intertwined by some of Raphael's art and his personal angels. Novelist Tulia Rose is sent abroad by her boyfriend so they can "work out their relationship". Wandering Paris she meets a sidewalk artist calling himself Raphael. He leads her on an adventure discovering the paintings of his namesake Raphaello Sanzio, which leads her to writing her next book. We read her novel as she writes it and live her life as she is living it. A good book for fans of historical r...more
Rachel G
Tulia Rose has a decision to make. She left her boyfriend in New York and let him finance a trip for her to Europe for 6 weeks so they could take a break from their relationship and possibly start fresh when she returns. While in Paris, she encounters a sidewalk artist and has to decide if what she has back home is worth working on, or if she should allow herself fall in love with the artist. This artist won't tell her his name so she starts to call him Raphael after the Raphael cherubs art he h...more
This is a beautifully written, evocative and lyrically romantic book.

The dual stories - one in present day, and another in the past - feature is something I enjoy in a book if it is well handled, and it is in this book.

The plot is also extremely romantic but the romance is gentle and understated and is a feature of the plot rather than the focus of it.

The authors do a good job of meshing the history and the characters with the beauty of Italy and the history of the times as well as the artistic...more
Jeanne Kalogridis, the author of "I, Mona Lisa" and "The Borgia Bride", and who also happens to be one of my favourite writers describes this book as "A deliciously dreamlike tale of modern love and Renaissance romance". I'm not sure I can do much better than that! It's such a gorgeous love story - part of me wanted to read it whilst picnicking in the Tuscan countryside under a blazing hot sun and blue sky with a glass of wine, and another part of me wanted to read it snuggled in an armchair by...more
Dianne Landry
Jun 12, 2014 Dianne Landry rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kristen Ridley, Michelle Hunwicks
This isn't normally my cup of tea but I loved this book. Tulia is traveling in Paris to work out her relationship problems when she meets Raffaele, a sidewalk artist. He charms her and gets her interested in the artist Raphael. Her trip takes a turn and she goes to Italy, where her artist follows her. A romance ensues and her life is changed forever.

I am so glad I went to see the authors speak at the library because otherwise I would never have found this book. I loved it.
Aug 13, 2008 Charlotte rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a mushy love story who also likes Italy and/or renaissance art
Recommended to Charlotte by: UCSD CLICKS Library
Great read, short and captivating. The novel shifts between two authors and time periods in Europe with special attention to Italy, Paris and Venice. Modern day traveler and fledgling writer Tulia Rose encounters a sidewalk-artist who immediately captures her interest and heart. The novel shifts between passages of following Tulia and her new story which is a fictional retelling of the life of artist Raphael Sanzio set in Renaissance Italy. Speculation about the life of Raphael (or Raffaello, as...more
Not your usual time slip novel! Some might this is weirdly written but like modern dance, this book seeks to tell a story in an unconventional writing theme.
Tulia Rose is traveling in Europe, her relationship of four years in New York City having soured. On the streets of Paris she meets a sidewalk artist who is not what he appears to be. She then finds herself writing about and also dreaming of a time before when Raphael Sanzio lived in the same time as Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo. Who is...more
I didn't like it. And I wouldn't recommend it either. The concept was good but fell short in my opinion. Things just didn't fit smoothly. I liked the historical information regarding Raphael. And the authors show you, through the main character Tulia, just how much work there is in researching a historical fiction novel. But I didn't connect with any of the characters. Not a one. Past, present or future. I did connect with the settings. It was nice to read about places I had visited in Europe. A...more
Jaymin Cheatwood
This book was unexpected, but captivating. A unique love story that pulled me in quickly.
Dorothy Inman
This book had a really slow start and continued to drag from there. What seemed like foreshadowing was just the author's way of not hinting at, but telling you exactly what was going to happen at the end. This was extremely disappointing because the second book by these collaborating authors was so delightful. I did love the art history in the book. It reminded me why I love painting so much. That being said, it didn't make up for the empty story line. Fortunately it was a short book, so I didn'...more
Eve (Bee) Beltane
An enjoyable book written in split perspectives with many sub-plots. Characters and scenes are well described. A nice, little time away.
John Herbert
This book is more for the ladies I'll venture but I gave it a crack anyway.
A love story that moves from Paris to Venice involving a sidewalk artist of course, and a teeny-weeny bit of time travel in that we also keep in touch with a similar love involving the painter Raphael.
All the way through I felt it was all a little tame and at any minute I'd abandon the project. But I didn't for some reason - just had to find out how it all panned out. That's my excuse!!!
A quick, lovely if sappy, read about the artist Raphael and a secret love affair he may have had which is discovered by a modern-day young woman traveling Europe trying to decide the next move in her life. My only complaint was the modern-day parts of the book felt very old-fashioned, like the story was taking place more in the 1950s than 2006 - it was jarring to me as a reader but for the most part, I was able to overlook it.
May 08, 2008 Adrienne rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: women into artistic types
this book did not impress me, mostly b/c i just couldn't figure out what tulia and the sidewalk artist saw in each other. i mean i know they go over it in the book over and over again, but it was not believable to me. i was more interested in ethan, which is not the book's intended effect. i did learn a little about europe and art history though. oh but i was really bored by the historic chapters.
Well OF COURSE I was going to read this, as a working sidewalk artist myself and totally into the culture & lore surrounding street painting. Sadly, I'm also a fan of literature, so the writing was excruciating. But you throw in time travel, Italian villas and a painter, and I stay involved... it was like a train wreck I couldn't turn away from. Pass this one by, unless you're a big romance fan.
Kamala Hahn
I have to admit I'm disappointed. I was hoping for something along the lines of 'The Flanders Panel' and got a warmed over romance novel. The pacing is off and I'm having a hard time connecting to the characters. The upside is that it is novel that it is written by two women. Each overlays their story over the other. The refernces to Raphael are good, but as I said, there is no connection.
Rachael McDiarmid
I quite liked this. It was a simple, beautiful, light romantic fantasy about the painter Raphael (past and present -- the latter is the sidewalk artist of the title) and his past and present love. It combines several loves of mine - art, art history, history, and Italy so it was a stretch for me to go along for the ride. It was a lovely escape. Not too taxing on the brain...
If I could give it 3 1/2 I would. I read it in honour of Valentine's Day. It is a sweet romantic story, and a quick read. It didn't have tons of depth, but if that is what you are looking for, you probably didn't gravitate to it anyway. Definitely "chick-lit". I enjoyed it. More than anything, though, it made me really want to spend a lot of time in Italy. :)
I liked this book OK. The book takes place in two time periods. The current time period girl isn't painted as the great beauty that she is mentioned to be. It was weird. I love period romances which it was. I would call this a book for romantic nerds who love art and or Raphael. Not the turtle.
I liked the idea of this book and really enjoyed parts of it. At times it was a bit hard for me to follow. Overall it was a fun story of true love and I was anxious to see how it all was going to come together. I didn't give it more stars because I enjoyed it but didn't love it.
A beautiful intertwining of historical romance and a current love story. I chose it for the European setting and was not disappointed by the two authors who collaborated on the story which really doesn't end until the last sentence. Delightful entertainment!
I read this before I went to Paris/Europe last May and it really got me in the mood. I really felt like I was in Europe adoring the great works of Rapheal while reading it. It's not the most sophisticated book in the world but I really enjoyed the light read.
I loved traveling and experiencing what this young lady was up to, and the wonderful relationship she had. I liked the writing and it was a fun read for me. I will be reading their second book. And I have read it twice.
Renee Tolonen
Fun read! Combines love, art, and Italy. Great summer quick read. Also had the chance to meet the author (friend of a friend) which was a lot of fun and provided additional insight into the book.
I loved this book. About a woman who meets a sidewalk artist in Paris and the story she dreams & writes about the
relationship of the artist Raphael and his only love. Beautiful story.
I loved this book - beautiful writing and a great story. I'm a big fan of a little bit of the supernatural, so this was perfect! A romance (which I don't normally read) but much more.
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Co-author of The Sidewalk Artist, Ciao Bella, and The Wolves of St. Peter's (forthcoming).

Together with Janice Kirk also writes as Meadow Taylor.

Visit our blog at, join our Facebook page at, and follow us on Twitter @JaniceandGina.
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