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Leonardo’s Swans

Leonardo’s Swans

Author(s): Karen Essex

Location(s): Ferrara, Italy, Milan

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): 15th Century



At the heart of this book is the complex relationship between two of Leonardo’s muses and patrons at the court of Milan: The d’Este sisters, Isabella and Beatrice, who are betrothed to two very different men. Isabella marries the Marquis of Mantua, her childhood sweetheart, and Beatrice marries Ludovico Sforza – twice her age, and living openly with his mistress. The two marriages set the two sisters on a course for supremacy. But when Ludovico’s grand plan to control Europe begins to crumble, immortality through art becomes a luxury, and the two sisters must make choices between loyalty to their family and survival in the treacherous political world. It is during this time that Leonardo paints the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. A beautifully crafted book that brings the glittering world of the Sforzas – decadence, love, sex, glamour at the Court of Milan and Renaissance mores to life.

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