Andrea Palladio (/pəˈlɑːdioʊ/ pə-LAH-dee-oh, Italian: [anˈdrɛːa palˈlaːdjo]; 30 November 1508 – 19 August 1580) was an Italian Renaissance architect active in the Venetian Republic. Palladio, influenced by Roman and Greek architecture, primarily Vitruvius, is widely considered to be one of the most influential individuals in the history of architecture. While he designed churches and palaces, he was best known for country houses and villas. His teachings, summarized in the architectural treatise, The Four Books of Architecture, gained him wide recognition.
The National Gallery has a short little primer on paintings of saints and recognizing them by means of their attributes. As an example, in the painting below Saint Genevieve of Paris holds the candle which she miraculously relit. On the brooch at her neck are the alpha and omega signs. Saint Apollonia of Alexandria’s brooch shows pincers: she was tortured by having her teeth extracted.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A nice little thriller about an obscure text from the Renaissance (quattrocento) set in modern times. This falls into the genre of historical fiction that’s similar to Dan Brown‘s Robert Langdon series or films like the Nicolas Cage National Treasure series, though not quite as “rompish.” I have to imagine that those who liked Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Gentlemen and Players, and The Thirteenth Tale will enjoy this quite a lot.
Those who are fans of historical fiction, cryptography, puzzles, books about books, and history in general, are sure to enjoy it.
The Vincent Taft character could have been a better “heavy” but was pretty functional in the story given his limited appearances in the actual plot. I saw the Savonarola portion of the plot a mile away, but to most unaware of this part of history this will be an interesting historical diversion/lesson. I thought the ending was a bit too literary given the more plot-motivated feel of the rest of the narrative, but in all, it was relatively satisfying given Tom’s full back-story. I can see this being adapted into film, but it will take some creative ideas to better linearize the plot and to make the ending a bit bigger for the screen.