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Laura Morelli

The Painter's Apprentice

The Painter's Apprentice

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The Painter's Apprentice

A Novel of 16th-Century Venice

★★★★★ 702 reviews

A tale of art, love, and plague in Renaissance Venice

Would you rather sacrifice your livelihood, your lover, or your life? When the Black Death comes knocking on your door, you’d better decide quickly.


Venice, 1510. Maria Bartolini wants nothing more than to carry on her father’s legacy as a master gilder. Instead, her father has sent her away from the only home she’s ever known to train as an apprentice to Master Trevisan, a renowned painter.

When the painter’s servants uncover the real reason why Maria has been sent away, they threaten to reveal a secret that could tear down her family and the future of their trade. She is forced to buy the servants’ silence, but as their greed steadily grows, Maria resorts to more desperate measures. She questions whether her heart’s desire is worth risking her family, her trade, and her future.

But Maria’s sacrifices may amount to nothing if the plague arrives on her father’s doorstep before she is able to get back home.

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Gondola Maker comes a rich tale of Renaissance Venice, a heroine with a lust for life, and love against all odds.


From Our Readers...

★★★★★ A gorgeous visit to Renaissance Venice
Jean Rylands
I have just finished my second reading of The Painter's Apprentice - first on Kindle then in hardcover. Morelli's detailed descriptions of Renaissance Venice, wholly in the flow of the daily lives of her characters, leaves the reader feeling as though you have had the privilege of visiting the workshops and galas alike in 1510. It has been particularly valuable to re-read the author's account of the Black Death and, frankly, comforting to know that the current pandemic is merely a continuation of the many tragic events that inspire the feelings and fears that are always a part of the human condition. The crowning feat of this book is the deep caring for Maria inspired by Morelli's artful framing of the dilemmas faced by an unwed mother in this time period. To lovers of historical fiction, I highly recommend this book and the Gondola Maker. In both, you will find ample evidence of Morelli's skills in technique-driven descriptions of historical works of art but also the impressive works of a skilled storyteller.


★★★★★ Venetian Art Historical Novel
Karen Neary
THE PAINTER'S APPRENTICE is a beautifully written historical novel set in 1510 Venice. As a painter, I enjoyed learning about the art of gilding which was paramount to the story of Maria, who desires nothing more than to carry on her beloved trade. The pages are filled with intrigue, forbidden love, and the bubonic plague. As the plot thickens and the stakes intensify, this book will keep you turning the pages in anticipation of Maria's fate. Laura Morelli has crafted an exceptional story, one that should not be missed.


★★★★★ If you are a lover of Italy or know a lover of Italy, this is a fantastic read...
Italy Guru

I raced through this book, not because I was desperate to finish, but because I really wanted to know what was going to happen to Maria and her forbidden lover, Cristiano. Morelli's background as a historian shines through with details sprinkled in that draw the reader deep into the heart of Renaissance Venice. Readers of her previous novel, "The Gondola Maker," will recognize a familiar character in the painter Maria goes to work for. I love how Morelli tied the books together--definitely standalone, but a real treat for fans of her work. If you are a lover or know a lover of Italy, this is a fantastic read, well-paced, historically delightful and full of romantic suspense. Can't wait for her next novel!


Product Details

Publisher: The Scriptorium

Paperback:  406 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1942778-92-9

Dimensions: 6 x 1.02 x 9 inches

Binding: Perfect


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