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.
Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction--novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
"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." --Maxwell Carter, The New York Times
"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
"Vividly evoking the turbulent world and ferociously competitive spirit of Renaissance Florence, Stephanie Storey transports the reader to one of the most creative and exciting moments in the history of that remarkable city."--William E. Wallace, author of Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man and His Times
"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. Oil and Marble will make readers long for Florence and to see David in the morning light."--Elizabeth Cobbs, author of Broken Promises: A Civil War Novel, and The 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 News
"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... An intriguing unforgettable classic piece of historical fiction." -- Hudson Booksellers, Best of 2016
"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." --HistoricalNovelSociety.org
"Historical fiction at its best, this novel lays out the rivalry between the two great artists and brings them to life in Florence in the 16th century."Woman's Day magazine
Get our latest book recommendations, author news, and competitions right to your inbox.
Thank you for signing up, fellow book lover!
Tell us what you like, so we can send you books you'll love.