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.
As a journalist, Julia Grigg has written on fashion, food, travel and the arts, subjects in which she retains an abiding interest. Recruited as a writer by UNICEF, she worked for many years as an advocate for children's issues in some of the world's most demanding and complex countries. The Eyes that Look was begun while studying for the Bath Spa University Masters course in Creative Writing. The research, in Italian archives, galleries and churches, allowed her to indulge a lifelong passion for the Renaissance. Julia is working on her second novel, also set in mid-1500s Venice and Florence, and involving some of the same cast of characters as The Eyes that Look. Dogs are another passion; she and her husband share their home with a pair of black and tan dachshunds. www.juliagrigg.com