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The Eyes That Look
The Secret Story of Bassano's Hunting Dogs
have eyes that look - but how clearly do we see?
compelling novel of art and adventure, Julia Grigg's debut, is set in the feverish
creativity of mid-sixteenth century Italy. Francesco Bassano wants to find out
how and why an extraordinary painting was made; the story traces his quest to discover
the secrets of the portrait's past. Francesco's journey, his coming-of-age, takes
him and his questions to Venice, Verona, Maser and Florence. Encountering the
High Renaissance's masters Titian, Veronese and Vasari in the very act of
creating and recording the era's stupendous art and architecture, he is witness
to astonishing achievements. Enthralled, he learns of the determination needed for
innovation and the sacrifices demanded of an artist if cherished ambition is to
become reality. Little by little he unravels what lies behind the painting,
gaining new understanding of love, truth and beauty, and of loyalty, devotion
and the unbreakable bond between a master and his dogs. However, in delving
deeper, the past's dark side reveals itself: cruelty, inhumanity and human
frailty --- and Francesco cannot avoid the experience of bitter betrayal.
spirited, entertaining fiction drawing on historical facts, The Eyes that Look is multi-sensual in
its storytelling, inviting readers to revel in the unrivalled artistic riches
of the Italian Renaissance.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Julia Grigg's The Eyes that Look is an important and knowledgeable book about art history which also happens to be a beautifully-written novel' Fay Weldon.'Julia Grigg has taken the facts of the past and created an absorbing and richly imagined portrait of a world, and a mystery, at the heart of one of history's most spectacular and important eras.' Emma Darwin.'An enticing novel, appealing in its sense of place and the historical world it explores.' Christopher Wakling.'This is a novel of many wonders. Julia Grigg makes us live, breathe, smell, taste and walk the streets of Renaissance Venice, Verona and Florence, seeing paintings by Titian as if the paint were still fresh and taking every step with the young artist who is to find his own place in history. She brings together the fruits of deep and sincere scholarship with an instinctive feeling for her characters, offsetting rich historical detail with a robust and irresistible humanity.' Celia Brayfield.'Gorgeous, lustrous writing - a story alight with Grigg's love of art.' Maggie Gee.