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Oil and Marble: A Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo
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Oil and Marble: A Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  3,717 ratings  ·  408 reviews
From 1501—1505, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti both lived and worked in Florence. Leonardo was a charming, handsome fifty year-old at the peak of his career. Michelangelo was a temperamental sculptor in his mid-twenties, desperate to make a name for himself.

Michelangelo is a virtual unknown when he returns to Florence and wins the commission to carve what wi
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Arcade
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,717 ratings  ·  408 reviews

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Sonja Arlow
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I saw the Mona Lisa once, and to be honest I was a little disappointed that it was so small, covered in a glass box surrounded by pushing and shoving tourists in a very small room. I found the rest of the Louvre a lot more impressive.

I knew very little about Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo and the strength of this book was how educational it was for me. I was absolutely fascinated by the facts that came out of the story. I googled along with my reading as at times I thought surely th
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
This wonderful historical novel centers on Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti during the years 1501 – 1505 when they both lived and worked in Florence, Italy. Leonardo was in his fifties and an established artist. Michelangelo was in his twenties and had just completed “The Pieta” in Rome and had returned to Florence to make a name for himself and to support his family. When Michelangelo wins the Duccio stone commission and begins his beloved “David” sculpture, Leonardo is working on ...more
Laurie Reilly
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I chose to read this book because I had an upcoming trip to Italy. What a great choice! Who knew that Leonardo and Michelangelo had such a rivalry? It was interesting to learn that being an artist was not admirable and that sculpting was an arduous and and filthy business. Viewing Michelangelo's works in Rome was a completely different experience for me because of this book.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: leonardo, read-2018
When I was about 4% into this book, I had a lot to say. A LOT. Then I found a few episodes that I liked – weirdly, I like Storey’s portrayal of Salai. And then I came to the conclusion, that Storey is so confident that everything I have to say would be a waste of words and thoughts who cares. Hence I give it one star and leave it as a one star attempt to write about two brilliant minds, where the star goes mostly for an effort and in memory of all trees which died to provide paper for this book.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Because unless he is the master of his own time, he can never be the master of all time.

This was a very easy intro into the lives of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. The author did a great job setting the scene and place. I'm visiting Italy in April, and will try my utmost to go to Florence to see some of the beautiful places described. Oil and Marble reads like a who's who in the 1500's with a cast of characters that also include Machiavelli, the Borgias and Botticelli.

I really enjoyed how
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
The year is 1501 and Stephanie Storey tells a highly-imagined tale of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarreti as they return to Florence. At fifty years of age, Leonardo is the elder statesman in the area of art and science. Michelangelo considers himself a sculptor and has been distinguishing himself in Rome.

The story is about the rivalry between the two men. In Florence, the city fathers have offered a commission to Leonardo to carve the Duccio stone. A huge but damaged piece of marble,
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Stephanie Storey’s debut novel has all the elements of fascinating historical fiction. She has re-imagined the lives of artists Michelangelo and Leonardo DaVinci during a period of four pivotal years (1501-1505) when they both lived and worked in Florence. At this time, Leonardo was 50 years old, his name and reputation secure, while Michelangelo was young, temperamental, and just beginning to make a name for himself. Through the course of a deepening rivalry, the two artists complete their most ...more
Crystal King
The world has long been in love with Da Vinci and with Michelangelo but rarely do we hear of the rivalry they had with each other. In Oil and Marble, Storey weaves a meticulously researched tale as complicated and beautiful as the treasures they left behind. The reader easily finds themselves rooting for both men, each radically different than the other, both flawed in their own ways, full of ego and incredible talent. If you love history and love art, take a trip back to the height of the Itali ...more
Joseph Adelizzi, Jr.
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in a GoodReads Giveaway.

As stated above, I won Stephanie Storey’s Oil and Marble on GoodReads, and truth be told, had I not won this book on GoodReads I don’t know if I would have been inclined to purchase it. What gives me pause is my fear that a work of historical fiction involving great artists would easily devolve into a Psychology 101 clown-car of silly theories about motivations and justifications of the artists’ actions and themes, thereby marring their work like a botched
Amanda Skoog
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sixweeksofsummer
“Think … the greater danger for most of us is not in aiming too high and falling short, but in aiming too low and hitting the mark.”

As a fanatic of both books and art, I couldnt really imagine a book more fitting than this one. Oil and Marble is a novel about two of the great masters; Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti. From 1501 – 1505 both of these great artists lived in Florence, a city that has homed and inspired (and still does!) many artists. In the book, we even get mentions
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Úžasne som si pri tejto knihe oddýchla. Milujem Michelangela, jeho socha Dávida je geniálna, vlastne, všetky sú. A aj Da Vinciho obrazy sú prekrásne. Jeho schopnosť venovať sa toľkým oblastiam ma vždy udivovala. Mala som možnosť vidieť niektoré diela oboch umelcov naživo a bol to dokonalý zážitok. Dej knihy sa odohráva počas rokov 1499-1504, kedy obaja vytvorili nezabudnuteľné diela - Michelangelo Dávida z mramoru a Leonardo obraz Mony Lisy. Mihnú sa tam aj iní umelci, štátnici a známe osobnosti ...more
Gail Baugniet
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hard to resist a story pitting two artistic, egotistical giants against one another, especially with the vivid backdrop of Florence. My expectations of a good storyline were low as I was willing to settle for the pleasure of merely spending time in the company of Leonardo and Michaelangelo. To my pleasant surprise, Stephanie Storey did extensive research to make her novel tension-filled, realistic, and enlightening.

By the final pages, these accomplished artists had truly come alive for me. This
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2017 added it
My friend calls herself a history snob and suggest I may be one, too. But it's not that I was looking for pure history here. It is supposed to be imaginative fiction. The sensibilities were so modern, though, and, at least to the point I gave up, the characters weren't people I could imagine as the historical characters. That may just be my own lack of imagination. And a little bit of history snobbery?
Nancy Gann
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book will inspire you to read non-fiction history about Leonardo and Michelangelo. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oil and Marble
by Stephanie Storey

Oil and Marble is a magnificent story brimming with an all-star cast of world famous artists conducted by the talent of author Stephanie Storey. The novel centers around two of the most extraordinarily relevant talents in history, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. As chapters are cleverly divided into Leonardo and Michelangelo, the reader visits Florence and delves into the triumphs and tragedies that are guided by a strong commitment to faith and art by both t
Connie Hall
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oil and Marble is a very entertaining read! If you love these two pieces of art - David and Mona Lisa - you will enjoy it even more. The only reason I didn't go with 5 stars is because some of her embellishments are a little unbelievable; but the main parts - the artists working and their rivalry - are well done and very moving.
Because I am planning to be in Florence this March, it was especially fun to read about this history.
Esra M.
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bu kitap benim elimden tutarak yüzümde kocaman bir gülümsemeyle Floransa sokaklarında dolaştırdı, keşke o zamanlar gerçekten orada olabilseydim dedirtti. Eğlenceli, heyecanlı, sanat aşkını daha da depreştiren güzel bir kurguydu.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who don't know anything about art history, or good writing
Ugh. I should have known when the phrase "egg-based tempera" showed up that I was dealing with an author who either thought her readers were idiots—or didn't know how to write.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be both.

Stephanie Storey knows her history, there's no doubt about it. Interesting tidbits grace scenes (making it almost worthwhile to finish in order to learn something a bit esoteric to enamor at your next dinner party), but her attempt to novelize the sensational in the vibrant, nail-bit
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An intriguing account of two amazingly brilliant artists. Storey unveiled the possible thoughts and feelings that Leonardo and Michelangelo each might have experienced as they faced the pressures and conflict that existed between the two. She revealed the struggles each man experienced while trying to prove themselves of their talents. As with other books of this genre, I am motivated to research on my own to find out what is history and what is fiction. Enjoyed it immensely.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ut-book-club
I thought the back stories of two of the most famous pieces of art was really interesting. Here is a list of all the art I googled while reading this book; (I know you want to know)
The Last Super
The Pieta
Donatello's David
Verrocchio's David
Botticelli's La Primevera
Botticelli's Birth of Venus
Virgin of the Rocks by da Vinci
Donatello's Judith and Holofernes
Salvator Mundi by da Vinci
Mona Lisa
Michelangelo's David
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was way too long, even a longer way too obvious and quite terribly written as well (I almost appreciate author's vocabulary of Italian curses, but they don't make up for for lack of style and numerous other mannerisms) The 2 stars result is for the topic, and historical accuracy - which does not make a novel though.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was so drawn to this story and yet I couldn't give it five stars. I think it's because I listened to it on audible and I didn't love the narrator. However the story was lovely! Maybe it's because I've pondered over both these masterpieces and she gave a perfect mix of fact and fiction. So many unanswered questions and she imagined a great story!!!
Randal White
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction
Excellent story

I would like to believe that the creation of the Mona Lisa and of David occurred just as the author portrayed it. Wouldn't that be wonderful!
Mar 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
This story begins with two artists returning to Florence. Leonardo da Vinci is returning from Milan, where he worked on designing a horse sculpture - the largest equestrian statue in the world, which was supposed to be cast in iron, but the clay model was destroyed by French soldiers invading Milan. Leonardo was forced to flee Milan. Michelangelo Buonarroti is returning from Rome, where he just finished working on Pieta.

They come back to Florence at a time, when commission on Duccio Stone is an
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Napriek tomu, že príbeh je fiktívny, myslím, že autorke sa perfektne podarilo zachytiť celkovú atmosféru doby. Od prvého momentu som sa cítila, akoby som sa vrátila v čase a spolu s hrdinami sa prechádzala ulicami mojej milovanej Florencie (a sčasti Ríma a Milána). Veľmi oceňujem, že pokiaľ to len šlo, držala sa čo najviac skutočnosti a okrem fantastického príbehu nám ukázala aj politické dianie a bežný život v 15./16. st. vo Florencii a aj celkovo v Taliansku, čo len napomohlo pútavosti dej
4.5 stars. I really enjoyed this book. First of all, I want to say that Florence is one of my very favourite places on Earth. I had the pleasure to visit again earlier on this year and the fact that this book was set in that wonderful city was such a delight for me. I particularly enjoyed the art descriptions given out in this novel - it made me look for information on the many art pieces mentioned throughout the novel. Although, the novel is not entirely historically accurate, the amount of res ...more
Apr 09, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5. It was definitely interesting. I really home that these artists were not so junior high in their attitudes towards other artists, however.
Miriam Downey
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read my full review here: https://mimi-cyberlibrarian.blogspot....

Make sure you have access to the Internet before you begin reading Oil and Marble by Stephanie Storey, because you will spend a great deal of time looking for images of the works of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli, among others. Storey has created a well-imagined rivalry between the fifty-year old Leonardo and the much younger Michelangelo. When the novel begins, both have returned to their home city of Florence to
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this historical novel. I've seen both the Mona Lisa and David. This brought back lots of memories of my trip through Europe nearly 20 years ago. The story was very engaging and helped bring these two artists to life in my mind.
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Stephanie Storey is a writer and art fanatic. She has a degree in Fine Arts from Vanderbilt University and attended a PhD program in Art History—before leaving to get her MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She has studied art in Italy and been on a pilgrimage to see every Michelangelo on display in Europe. When not writing novels and screenplays, she works as a television producer and t ...more
“A drop of ocean water had the ambition to rise high into the air. So, with the help of fire, it rose as vapor, but when it flew so high that the air turned cold, it froze and fell from the sky as rain. The parched soil drank up the little drop and imprisoned it for a long time: punishment for its greedy ambition. You’re” 2 likes
“think … the greater danger for most of us is not in aiming too high and falling short, but in aiming too low and hitting the mark.” “I” 2 likes
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