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La leyenda negra

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  1,667 Ratings  ·  214 Reviews
It's 1559. A young woman painter is given the honor of traveling to Michelangelo's Roman workshop to learn from the Maestro himself. Only men are allowed to draw the naked figure, so she can merely observe from afar the lush works of art that Michelangelo sculpts and paints from life. Sheltered and yet gifted with extraordinary talent, she yearns to capture all that life a ...more
Hardcover, 451 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by Ediciones B (first published January 1st 2010)
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May 20, 2010 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining to read. I loved reading about the Spanish court. I thought the convergance of issues -- the protestant reformation, the inquisition, the morality of the court, the complexity of the relationship were all very interesting to read.

My main problem was this -- I know that in historical fiction liberties are taken -- but I took exception with the one main liberty that the author uses as the central point to the whole plot-- and it is in the first 20 pages of the book -- that Sofi -- th
Feb 17, 2010 Epeeblade rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, read_in_2010
This book had plenty of elements that I should have liked - a Renaissance setting, a female painter in a time when it was a rarity, the intrigues of a royal court. Instead, I found myself more and more frustrated with this book.

I never really warmed up to the character of Sofonisba. In the beginning when she muses on the lot of women made her just a touch too self-aware and too 20th century for me. And then for a supposedly clever woman she just doesn't act very intelligently.

Overall the plot ar
Sofonisba Anguissola was one of the first great female painters of the Renaissance, and a truly fascinating woman, so I was immediately interested when I came upon this book, which tells of Sofonisba's time in the court of King Philip II of Spain. However, although it's evident that Lynn Cullen has researched the people and the period extensively, her story failed to capture me. I found it difficult to develop a lot of attachment to the characters, most of whom were very one-note, and quickly ti ...more
Jun 02, 2009 Mere rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
I LOVE this book. It will be published in March 2010 and I wish it was sooner so everyone could read it now! What a rich world Lynn Cullen creates, and she draws you in from page one. A beautifully written historical novel about Sofonisba Anguissola, a female painter in the Spanish court of Phillip II, it is truly a delight to read! I wouldn't consider myself a fan of historical ficion (I haven't read that much in the genre), but I think this story transcends the genre. I couldn't put it down. L ...more
Gail Cooke
Mar 23, 2010 Gail Cooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is little reading more intriguing than well done historical fiction. Lynn Cullen raises this genre to new heights with her intriguing, richly visualized THE CREATION OF EVE. Based on the life of the first woman painter to achieve any degree of recognition during the Renaissance, Sofonisba Anguissola, the author transports us to the 16th century courts of Spain and France, each alive with rankling jealousies, harbored dreams, and clever machinations.

As a child of 7 Sofonisba was inspired by
Kelly Hager
May 08, 2010 Kelly Hager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This reminded me a lot of The Other Boleyn Girl, except I actually ended up liking this better. (High praise indeed, because I LOVED TOBG.)

Sofi is sent to the Spanish King's court to be a lady-in-waiting for his new wife after a little indiscretion. Sofi (actually a real person) was a painter of some renown; she trained under Michelangelo (which ended up being maybe not so great, since this was the time he was considered a heretic and also discovered to be gay).

There's a love story and a lot of
May 28, 2013 LeAnne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating story with some of my favorite things to read about--history, art, and court life--all rolled up into one. I want to read more by Lynn Cullen!
Feb 26, 2017 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I believe this was my first read of a historical novel about royalty. The Creation of Eve takes place in the 1500s, primarily in Spain. The novel is told in the voice of Italian Sofonisba Anguissola, an actual painter mentored by Michelangelo, via her diary. Sofi becomes an intimate friend to teenage Elisabeth of Valois, France, after Elisabeth was married to (given to) King Felipe II of Spain. This book is a page-turner. I looked forward to opening it each evening and had to make myself put it ...more
Jennifer Rayment
Good Stuff

* Historically accurate and very rich in detail
* Intriguing characters
* Very well researched and the author obviously has a passion for these historical characters and their time period
* Interesting notes at the beginning of each chapter
* wonderful understanding and description of a woman's place in this era of history
* Lots of court intrigue
* The Author's note at the end of the book

Not So Good Stuff

* Storyline dragged and was a little dry at times
* Not very passionate and fie
Aug 08, 2013 Abby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. I loved learning about Sofonisba Anguissola. I looked up a lot of details about the Spanish court while reading and it seems that the author did stay pretty true to history while writing, which is something I love in a historical fiction novel.

These are the reasons that I didn't give this book five stars:

***spoiler alert***

1. Sofi spends almost every waking moment with the Queen, yet there is never any real friendship between the two of them. I find it impossible to bel
Jana Gueck
Jun 15, 2013 Jana Gueck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This is the one time in my life where I picked a book because of it's cover and it was exactly what I wanted it to be. Ok, it wasn't the cover itself, but scrawled across it was "Enormously Satisfying" - Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants. Sold. I loved Water for Elephants.

Sofonisba "Sofi" Anguissola is a student of Michelangelo when she falls in love with Tibero, her fellow student. After they are caught alone together, Sofi runs home, hoping that he will send for her. Instead, the King
Dec 22, 2009 Darcy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Darcy by: Friend
Really enjoyed this book.

Isn't there something about historical fiction that really allows for fascinating character development and draws you into the story? The story is real, but the author has the freedom to explore controversial events and persona. The Creation of Eve (CE) was just that sort of captivating book. We have traveled various parts of Europe on family vacations with the typical American fascination with the whole concept of kings, queens and other historical persons. CE fed that
Suzanne Kittrell
I was kind of excited about this book for it deals with one of the first female Renaissance artists and her story. She apprencticed in real life under Michelanglo (sic) but went to the Spanish Royal Court in the 1580s to be a painting instructor to the then teenage Queen. This novel turned out to be too much about the Spanish Court and all the intrigues that happen therein. There was not enough about the woman artist though it must be acknowledged there is so little known about her and her work ...more
Mar 18, 2013 Mary marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Well-written historical fiction is always a pleasure, but when it reveals to us an unfamiliar chapter in history it rises to a higher level. In this wonderfully rich and page-turning novel, the author introduces us to Sofonisba Anguissola, a 16th-century Italian woman who was one of the most highly regarded portrait painters of her time. Lynn cullen pays particular attention to the years Anguissola spent as instructor and lady-in-waiting to the Spanish queen Elisabeth de Valois. Excellent fun.
Jan 19, 2010 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Another 3 1/2 stars rating.

This book follows the barely known real life story of Sofonisba Anguissola one of the first well known female artists of the renaissance. It was filled with rich history and intrigue, but in all honesty wasn't really my type of read. In all honesty the whole time i was reading it i was thinking that a relative of mine is going to adore this book. She has shelves and shelves of books that are very similar to it.

So anyone who loves the classics, art, and history this bo
Stephanie Lee
Jun 05, 2013 Stephanie Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the development of the characters so far! This books allows you to get into the heads and hearts of the main characters and you feel how they feel. I recommend this, it is a quick read and great for lovers of historical fiction.
Oct 04, 2010 Aj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book. I found it very difficult to put down. It is about the life of talented female painter during the Renaissance period. The novel is beautiful woven with many themes such as court intrigue, the Inquisition, Michelangelo, discoveries from the new world and much more.
Jun 28, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story of a historical figure often lost in the accounts of the era. Very readable and engaging.
Mar 09, 2010 Carey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Will I ever understand the workings of the human heart? Will I ever know why we so often love those whom we cannot possess, and why we do not cherish those whose love we do possess? We are as thistledown twitching and turning in the current, captives to feelings we cannot control. How are we to understand those persons who mean the most to us when we cannot truly understand our own blind and hapless selves?"

Lynn Cullen's novel, The Creation of Eve, tells the story of Sofonisba Anguissola, the
When I heard about this book, months before it was to be released, I knew that I just had to read it. See, I had to do a senior project on Sofonisba Anguissola about a year ago and fell in love with her story. I just had to see if it turned out to be everything that I loved about her story.

One of the things that I loved about the style of this book was the way that each segment of the story started with an “item”. These items related to what was going to happen in the chapter and were related to
Apr 05, 2015 Jordan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Find this review on Forever Lost in Literature!

This was one of those unexpected books that I stumbled upon and ended up being extremely pleasantly surprised! The Creation of Eve basically follows the adult life of Sofonisba Anguissola, the first renowned female painter from the Renaissance. She works as a student of Michelangelo before being shipped to act as a painting teacher for Queen Elisabeth, the young and recently married wife of King Felipe II of Spain. This then follows Sofonisba's expe
Emily Patterson
Mar 26, 2011 Emily Patterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The Creation of Eve, Lynn Cullen captures a web of historical figures in a fiction as intriguing as Sofonisba's own work and unsung biography. Sofonisba's narration, punctuated with jewel-like artistic perceptions of nature and character, is highly readable even as it is teeming with realistic portraits of both Spanish court life and artistic endeavor. Cullen succeeds especially in rendering the Philip II and his queen's likeness, spinning a lovelorn mystery around the vivacious Elizabeth so ...more
Mar 14, 2010 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
When visiting Michelangelo's workshop in Rome, Sofi becomes tempted into an indiscretion with the young man she has longed for for some time, Tiberio. With no resulting offer of marriage Sofi accepts the position of lady-in-waiting to the very young, newly crowned Queen of Spain, Elisabeth, and in doing so subjugates her love and talent for painting. The story follows Sofi through the trials of the Queen's new marriage to King Felipe II and the jealousies and rivalries that arise between the Kin ...more
Jan 19, 2010 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always like historical fiction. When I read historical fiction, most specifically, historical fiction based on real people, I have that "This is so… cool!" reaction that I also have when different parts of my life actually mesh together (like when my yoga, tai chi, and music classes were all talking about good vs. bad and peace and stress all at the same time, and I was reading a book that touched on the same ideas). For me, reading historical fiction is like having a history class mesh with a ...more
My review below from 2010 stands. I love this story even more after a reread as an audiobook.
This book left me breathless. If you read my blog very often, you know that I don't typically 'do' historical fiction. It's not to say that I don't like it, it's just that the historical fiction books don't grab my attention as quickly as a mystery or paranormal books so the wandering finger as I trace out the titles choosing my next read will skim right on over the big 600 page tomes that are the
Ryan G
I'm still trying to figure out how much of this book I enjoyed and how much of it just wasn't for me. On the one hand we are presented with a fantastic character in Sofi. A woman, with the support of her family, pursues her passion of art. Her father pushes her and supports her to the point of getting the attention of Michaelangelo himself. She is constantly trying to prove herself in a world dominated by men. Through her own actions she is forced into a situation where she is bound to serve the ...more
Feb 28, 2010 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Creation of Eve is a highly engrossing story that will quickly and easily transport the reader back in time to a completely different era and way of life. Lynn Cullen does a beautiful job intertwining fact with fiction in a story that will satisfy even the most particular of historical fiction fans.

Sofonisba Anguissola is a young woman from a far from well-off family and background. However, Sofi has a magnificent talent that sends her dreams on a wondrous set of dove-colored wings. That is
The world building and story in this book is lush and suspenseful. One literally seems to experience the hot sun of Spain, the dark opulence of the Spanish royal court, and the fear prevalent in everything due to the Inquisition. The author’s research into the time period shows abundantly as she gives the readers an intimate look at this fascinating time. The political intrigue of the royal court and the dangers our characters had to navigate through also me spellbound.

The author does a fantasti
Jul 26, 2011 Rocio rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

"The Creation of Eve" is a work of biographical fiction by Lynn Cullen, who also wrote "Mrs. Poe" (and which I recently read and enjoyed), and is about one of the Renaissance's few female painters--Sofonisba Anguissola, who for a short time was a student of Michelangelo. It covers the years 1559 to 1568, when Sofonisba (called Sofi) is sent to the Spanish court where she is to be one of the ladies in waiting to the young, new queen, Elizabeth.

As with any good story set in a royal court during t
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“Every heart, it have its own ache.” 8 likes
“In painting, three things must be considered - the position of the viewer, the position of the object viewed, and the position of the light that illuminates the object.” 1 likes
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