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Gino, born on a tiny farm near Florence, Italy, grows into young manhood with the build of a tall, powerful athlete, the chiseled face of a movie idol and the graceful, sensual hands of a Michelangelo. He rises from painting at a tiny monastery to assisting modern masters restore great frescos and create new murals, to eminence as a world renowned painter in Paris, acclaimed such artists as Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso, Jean Paul Sartre and Andre Malraux.
Throughout his life, Gino is dogged by the dark and devious Pietro Scegli, a brutal, vicious man who carries terrible secrets and bears a mysterious and dangerous relationship to Gino, his beautiful and vulnerable sister, Maria, and his murdered, Fascist father. Pietro's jealousy and hatred are threats to Gino's very existence.
But Gino is never far from romance; his sensational artistic talent is matched only by his powerful appeal to women. His affairs range from a lyrical romp with beauteous Giulia, daughter of the Florentine industrial potentate who has unknowingly financed his work, to a tempestuous, yet profound, romance with the fabulously wealthy and elegant Ariane, Comtesse de Villon, to overwhelming, redeeming passion with lovely, young Monique who turns his life from sterile desperation to a dazzling rebirth of hope and talent.
At last, Gino must face long hidden and life threatening truths. Will he triumph over scandal, hatred and evil, or be vanquished by the ominous forces that have shadowed his life?
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Len Lamensdorf, a multi-published author with novels, a feature film, and a full-length play to his credit, draws on his extensive travel experience to create realistic settings for his works. His assertion that, "after writing, travel is my favorite occupation," is evidenced in the vivid word-pictures he paints for his stories be they castles in the French countryside or the Renaissance world of Florence. The Crouching Dragon, written with young readers in mind, is a Potter-ish tale steeped in historical fantasy, adolescent discovery, and turn-paging action. Readers can enjoy the benefits of Lamensdorf's onsite research in his newest novel Gino and the Countess -- an intriguing story of a young Italian artist, Chagall, and fresco painting, set in the historic European art centers of Florence and Paris.From Publishers Weekly:
In this name-dropping bodice-ripper for art enthusiasts and Italophiles, na ve yet talented Italian peasant Gianpaolo Bondone rises to fame and fortune in the Paris art world. Returning to his childhood home near Florence at the end of his service in WWII, Gino envisions a return to his simple life of farming and leatherworking at the local monastery. Instead, he finds his fascist father murdered by partisans and his sister deflowered by Pietro Scegli, a member of the Black Shirts. Tortured by dreams of the war, Gino seeks help from the prior of the local monastery, who arranges for Gino's apprenticeship with a master artist in Florence. Love affairs there and in Paris ensue. Gino's painting waxes and wanes with each new twist in his life. With the help of such luminaries as Chagall and Picasso, Gino learns what it takes to be a true artist. Lamensdorf (author of The Crouching Dragon, a young adult novel) writes a rollicking, if shallow, travelogue and art history saga. A voluptuous, romance-novel-style jacket and equally lusty blurbs from, among others, Fran Halpern of NPR may alert readers to a lighthearted airplane read.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Seascape Pr Ltd, 2000. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0966974166
Book Description Seascape Pr Ltd, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0966974166
Book Description Seascape Press Ltd., 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0966974166n