Cupid and the Silent Goddess

Written by Alan Fisk
Overview by Emily Retter

In 1544, Duke Cosimo de’ Medici of Florence commissioned the artist Bronzino to color a present for King François I of France.  The end result was Allegory with Venus and Cupid, which now hangs within the Nationwide Gallery, London.

This a lot of Fisk’s novel is reality. Round these details he has woven a fiction which is as intriguing because the portray itself.

The statuesque Venus is given a reputation, Angelina, and a curious character who can neither communicate nor seem to know.  The dominant centrepiece in Bronzino’s portray, in Fisk’s novel she is a fancy sufferer, a heroine exploited for her magnificence, and defenceless in her plight.

The angelic Cupid is Bronzino’s apprentice, Giuseppe, who struggles to kind judgements and discover a function underneath the crushing authority of his grasp. His despair and eventual self-control make him a memorable character.

Round these central protagonists, Fisk explores the characters of artists Bronzino and Pontormo, and paints a gritty and interesting image of Sixteenth-century Florence. His writing type is obvious, which fits the human honesty and earthiness of this story.

This is a wonderful learn, however like all novel which fictionalises a portray’s creation, it dangers perpetually contorting the picture. My recommendation: see the portray first, then learn the guide.


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