Wild's Reviews > The Painter's Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice

The Painter's Apprentice by Laura Morelli
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it was amazing

The Painter’s Apprentice is another highly successful entry into Laura Morelli’s “Venetian Artisans” series. This novel is a brilliant fusion of art and Renaissance cultural histories intertwined with a timeless romance set in Venice of 1510.

Morelli deftly describes the life and struggles of Maria Bartolini, a gilder, or a gold artisan skilled in the art of placing thin gold leaf over the façade of various pieces destined to be painted by artists and displayed in cathedral altars. Her type of work seems destined to be replaced by some artists’ love of oil and canvas over hand-finished wood. More importantly, Maria has been placed into an apprenticeship of a Master painter to learn these painting skills, despite the fact she desires to cling to the gilding work her beloved father had taught her.

Maria brings a dark secret with her to the Master painter’s home, something that places her in a vulnerable position with unsavory members of her mentor’s household. While the heroine deals with this conflict, she must grapple with a much larger problem...the outbreak of the bubonic plague that not only grips Venice, but threatens her family and herself.

Morelli is a gifted story teller who enraptures the reader on so many levels, spanning from the details of art history to understanding the social fabric of Renaissance Italy. This was truly a delight to read, and a wonderful segue from The Gondola Maker, Laura Morelli’s first eye opening novel.

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Reading Progress

October 29, 2017 – Shelved
October 29, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
December 28, 2017 – Started Reading
January 18, 2018 – Finished Reading

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