The Medici Boy
by John L’Heureux
My rating: *** (3 of 5 stars)
**NOTE: I was generously provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
After reading the title, The Medici Boy, I expected this to mainly be a novel about the Medicis. While they do play a part, the story focuses on Donatello and his infatuation with the young model/prostitute Agnolo (the titular “Medici Boy”), who poses for his bronze “David and Goliath”. The whole thing is told to us in the form of a final written memoir by Luca Mattei, one of Donatello’s assistants, as he nears the end of his days imprisoned for a murder that he committed out of love for his friend Donatello.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I had a hard time relating to most of the characters in this story, and the lack of action caused the book to feel somewhat slow at times, but it is very well written. The descriptions of Florence and her history, and the detailed references to Donatello’s artistic processes were interesting and seem to have been very well researched.
Students of art history and those who have an interest in the Renaissance or Italian history in general should really enjoy this book.