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Pre-order Raphael, Painter in Rome Now

available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 
 

A new novel coming April 2020, in time for the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death

 
 

Another fabulous art history thriller by the bestselling author of Oil and Marble, featuring the master of Renaissance perfection: Raphael!

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling is one of the most iconic masterpieces of the Renaissance. Here, in Raphael, Painter in Rome, Storey tells of its creation as never before: through the eyes of Michelangelo’s fiercest rival—the young, beautiful, brilliant painter of perfection, Raphael. Orphaned at age eleven, Raphael is determined to keep the deathbed promise he made to his father: become the greatest artist in history. But to be the best, he must beat the best, the legendary sculptor of the David, Michelangelo Buonarroti. When Pope Julius II calls both artists down to Rome, they are pitted against each other: Michelangelo painting the Sistine Ceiling, while Raphael decorates the pope's private apartments.

As Raphael strives toward perfection in paint, he battles internal demons: his desperate ambition, crippling fear of imperfection, and unshakable loneliness. Along the way, he conspires with cardinals, scrambles through the ruins of ancient Rome, and falls in love with a baker’s-daughter-turned-prostitute who becomes his muse.

With its gorgeous writing, rich settings, endearing characters, and riveting plot, Raphael, Painter in Rome brings to vivid life these two Renaissance masters going head to head in the deadly halls of the Vatican.

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Before I got to the bottom of the first page, I was completely engrossed in Oil and Marble. I especially liked the way Ms. Storey involved all the great names of the early 16th century in the art of politics and the politics of art. This is an eminently readable tale, with the two giants of art giving the story its heart and soul. A fabulous and fun read.
— Monica E. Spence, Historical Novel Review
 

Buy Oil and marble now from these retailers

Oil and Marble is available in paperback, hardcover, ebook, and audio book - in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Slovakian, Czech, Turkish, and coming soon in Russian

 
Tremendously entertaining and ‘unapologetic’ in its artistic license, Oil and Marble will remind an older generation of the pleasures of Irving Stone’s art historical fiction, particularly his chronicle of the Sistine Chapel ceiling commission, The Agony and the Ecstasy.
— Maxwell Carter, Sunday New York Times Book Review
Authentically steeped in the history and culture, Storey captures all the gorgeous, grim, and essential nuances of the creative process. It is a fascinating backstage glimpse of artistry at work.
— Carmit Delman, author of Burnt Bread and Chutney
With every chip of the chisel and stroke of the brush, Stephanie Storey fashions a mesmerizing tale of the envy, ambition, and artistic genius that drove an epic rivalry.
— Elizabeth Cobbs, author of Broken Promises: A Civil War Novel, and the upcoming Hamilton Affair
In the end this book is as much a love story as it is an historical narrative of time and place. Leonardo’s love for the muse Lisa and Michelangelo’s loving obsession to create something of great beauty from a block of imperfect stone. Stephanie Storey perfectly describes this artistic love as she paints her own masterpiece in the character of Leonardo.
— Thomas Crowe, Smoky Mountain Review

Los Angeles Times Bestseller

One of Hudson Bookseller’s Best of Books of 2016

Translated into 6 Languages

In Development as a Feature Film by Pioneer Pictures

 

In her brilliant debut, Storey brings early 16th-century Florence alive, entering with extraordinary empathy into the minds and souls of two Renaissance masters, creating a stunning art history thriller. From 1501 to 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 will become one of the most famous sculptures of all time: David. Even though his impoverished family shuns him for being an artist, he is desperate to support them. Living at the foot of his misshapen block of marble, Michelangelo struggles until the stone finally

begins to speak. Working against an impossible deadline, he begins his feverish carving.

Meanwhile, Leonardo's life is falling apart: he loses the hoped-for David commission; he can't seem to finish any project; he is obsessed with his ungainly flying machine; he almost dies in war; his engineering designs disastrously fail; and he is haunted by a woman he has seen in the market--a merchant's wife, whom he is finally commissioned to paint. Her name is Lisa, and she becomes his muse.

Leonardo despises Michelangelo for his youth and lack of sophistication. Michelangelo both loathes and worships Leonardo's genius.

Oil and Marble is the story of their nearly forgotten rivalry.


 
The artistic process can be one of self-doubt, struggle, and sheer physical exertion, and Storey depicts the drama here with truth and insight. A rewarding read for art aficionados and fans of historical fiction.
— Booklist