The Secret of Paolo. The Life of the Renaissance Painter Paolo Veronese in Venice By Ivo Knottnerus

Venice, at its height during the late Renaissance, is the setting for “The Secret of Paolo”. Young Paolo Veronese starts building his artistic reputation in this thriving city in 1551. He establishes his own atelier and develops his craft to become one of the most celebrated painters of his time. The title “The Secret of Paolo” refers to the passion of Paolo for art and his lust for life, which climaxes in his unfulfilled love for a beautiful married woman, Giustiniana Barbaro. The author, Ivo Knottnerus, weaves a story of the life and works of this exceptional artist, his patrons and fellow artists during this fascinating period of history. A critical background event in the novel is one of the largest naval battles of history, the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, the war of the Islamic sultan of Turkey against the Christian alliance of the Republic of Venice, the Spanish King Philip II and the Pope. The great pest epidemic of the 1570s, in which countless numbers of Venetians fall victim, marks another watershed in Paolo’s life. Paolo records much of this history of Venice in his paintings and frescos. He also creates magnificent works with mythological and Christian themes. His fame reaches such heights that the art agents of the European sovereigns find their way to his atelier in Venice. He is even invited to become the court painter of the Spanish King Philip II. Paolo however declines this royal invitation. He remains loyal to Venice.

All of the leading museums in the world now have at least one of Paolo’s paintings in their collection. Several of his masterpieces are exhibited in the same gallery as the Mona Lisa, in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The Secret of Paolo. The Life of the Renaissance Painter Paolo Veronese in Venice


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