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Raphael, Painter in Rome
Cover of Raphael, Painter in Rome
Raphael, Painter in Rome
A Novel
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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.
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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About the Author-
  • Stephanie Storey is the author of Oil and Marble: a Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo, which the New York Times called "tremendously entertaining," has been translated into six languages, and is now in development as a feature film by Pioneer Pictures. Visit her at stephaniestorey.com.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 10, 2020
    Storey’s unconvincing follow-up to Oil and Marble, which focused on Leonardo and Michelangelo, attempts a first-person narrative in the voice of Raphael Santi. In 1494, an 11-year-old Raphael promises his dying father that he will become “the greatest painter in history.” He’s a working artist by the time he’s 21, and his stay in Florence confirms that Michelangelo is his greatest rival. Raphael moves to Rome in 1508, hoping to be commissioned to paint the Sistine ceiling. Michelangelo already has the job, but Pope Julius II commissions Raphael to decorate the walls of the papal apartments. Though fame, fortune, and love follow, the wars that embroil the Italian peninsula through much of Raphael’s lifetime, as well as his obsession with besting his brilliant rival Michelangelo, keep him in crisis. Storey’s extensive research is on display in her evocation of Raphael’s art and era, but her exaggerated portrait of the artist as an OCD sufferer given to constant ritualistic counting and anachronistic addresses to the reader strains credulity. Fans of historical fiction will savor the setting, but Storey’s Raphael doesn’t do himself or his story any favors.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrating entirely in an Italian accent, P.J. Ochlan captures the youthful exuberance of the Renaissance artist Raphael as he tells his own story of how he painted the papal apartments in the Vatican. Raphael's hard climb to fame as a self-described "nice boy from Urbino" in corrupt Rome is made especially difficult by his rivalry with the volatile Michelangelo. The two artists feed off of each other's successes and failures while maintaining a sympatico relationship. Ochlan's dramatic portrayals of the many supporting characters add humor to this vividly imagined story. The listener will be entertained by the voices of cutthroat dukes and cardinals, conniving maidens, and Pope Julius himself. Ochlan gives his all to this performance of a story both hilarious and touching. J.E.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine
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Raphael, Painter in Rome
Raphael, Painter in Rome
A Novel
Stephanie Storey
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