Skip to main content

Da Vinci's Tiger by L. M. Elliott: A Book Review

Da Vinci’s Tiger
Author: L. M. Elliott
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, 
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: 2015
Pages:  305
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: For fans of rich and complex historical novels like Girl with a Pearl Earring or Code Name Verity, Laura Malone Elliott delivers the stunning tale of real-life Renaissance woman Ginevra de' Benci, the inspiration for one of Leonardo da Vinci's earliest masterpieces. 

     The young and beautiful daughter of a wealthy family, Ginevra longs to share her poetry and participate in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence but is trapped in an arranged marriage in a society dictated by men. The arrival of the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers. Bembo chooses Ginevra as his Platonic muse and commissions a portrait of her by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them, one Ginevra only begins to understand. In a rich and vivid world of exquisite art with a dangerous underbelly of deadly political feuds, Ginevra faces many challenges to discover her voice and artistic companionship—and to find love.

     My Review: Da Vinci’s Tiger tells the story of Ginevra de Benci, the model for one of Leonardo’s early portraits. At a joust, Ginevra catches the eye of Bernardo Bembo. He instantly becomes smitten with her and decides to make her his Platonic muse.  He commissioned Leonardo da Vinci. As Ginevra sits for her portrait with Leonardo, they come to an understanding and eventual friendship. Leonardo makes a bold move by painting a woman outdoors rather than indoors. By giving a woman an expression of freedom through a portrait, Ginevra becomes attracted to him because he understands a woman’s soul. The two of them work together to make a masterpiece that expresses a woman’s feelings.

    I thought that Ginevra was a passive character. However, I thought that she greatly represented the women at the time. She was a woman who loved to write poetry and enjoyed being raised in the convent. She has an affection for the convent because it gives her a quiet life where she can read and write poetry. She is unsatisfied with her husband. However, she is a virtuous woman. She is attracted to Leonardo because he has the same ideals as him. She knows that when she sits down to paint her portrait, they are making a statement about a woman’s freedom of expression.

   Overall, this book explored the relationship between the model and the artist. The story was very slow, and did not have much of a plot. Still, I loved the historical details of the story. This book was meticulously researched and it had feminist leanings. I was attracted to Da Vinci’s Tiger because last year I went to Washington D.C., and I fell in love with Ginevra de Benci’s portrait. Seeing the only Leonardo da Vinci portrait in America, I was curious to learn more about her. I was thrilled that there is a young adult book about her portrait for she has been eclipsed by more illustrious paintings like the Mona Lisa. After reading it, I have a new appreciation for the portrait and am eager to learn more about her. I recommend Da Vinci’s Tiger to those who love Renaissance Art and the Renaissance period. This book is perfect for fans who love I Mona Lisa, Ophelia’s Muse, and Marie, Dancing.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to

Blog Tour: Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles by Will Bashor

Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles [history/biographical nonfiction] Release date: June 15, 2020 Postponed due to Covid-19: July 30, 2020 at Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Hardcover and ebook, 320 pages Author’s page | Goodreads SYNOPSIS Synopsis: This riveting book explores the little-known intimate life of Marie Antoinette and her milieu in a world filled with intrigue, infidelity, adultery, and sexually transmitted diseases. Will Bashor reveals the intrigue and debauchery of the Bourbon kings from Louis XIII to Louis XV, which were closely intertwined with the expansion of Versailles from a simple hunting lodge to a luxurious and intricately ordered palace. It soon became a retreat for scandalous conspiracies and rendezvous—all hidden from the public eye.       When Marie Antoinette arrived, she was quickly drawn into a true viper’s nest, encouraged by her imprudent entourage. Bashor shows that her often thoughtless, fantas

Blog Tour: Girl With A Gun (Annie Oakley Mysteries #1) by Kari Bovee: A Book Review

  Join us for this tour from Jan 10 to Feb 4 ,  2022 ! Book Details: Book Title : Girl with a Gun (An Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee Category :  Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 316 pages Length : 9 hours, 24 minutes. Genre :  Historical Mystery / Cozy Mystery Publisher :  Bosque Publishing Release date:    April 2020 Content Rating :  PG + M: Mature themes, mild swearing  Source : This audiobook was given to me by iReads Book Tour in exchange for an honest review.   Book Description :      She’s on the rise to fame and fortune, but her sudden notoriety comes with some deadly consequences.      Annie Oakley thrives as a sharpshooter in the Wild West Show. Finally, she has a chance to save her family’s farm—and make her dreams come true.      But her act misfires when she discovers her Indian assistant dead in her tent. Uncovering a shocking secret from her assistant’s past, the girl with the gun believes it’s murder. Determined to find the truth, she ruffles some horse