The Stolen Lady

Morrow. Sept. 2021. 512p. ISBN 9780062993595. pap. $16.99. F
It’s 1939, and the staff of the Louvre are packing up and moving the institution’s treasures to secure them from the advancing German army. Anne Guichard, a young archivist, is asked to go with the museum staff as they seek to protect the art, including the Mona Lisa, from the violence of war. In the 1500s, a middle-aged Leonardo da Vinci navigates his highly political world, seeking to broaden humankind’s knowledge. He only reluctantly takes on a commission to paint Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a wealthy silk merchant. Bellina Sardi, Lisa’s servant, struggles with her desire to have a family of her own while spending her life raising first Lisa, then Lisa’s children.
VERDICT Morelli (The Night Portrait) explores the power of art and ideas to expand the world, even in the darkest times. As Anne works with the French Resistance and museum staff to save an enduring work of art, readers will understand how vital art is to our understanding of ourselves. And the enigmatic Mona Lisa remains, with her soft smile, wearing mourning clothes
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