Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Bellini Madonna

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Bellini Madonna

A Novel

by Elizabeth Lowry

The Bellini Madonna by Elizabeth Lowry X
The Bellini Madonna by Elizabeth Lowry
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2009, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2010, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

This article relates to The Bellini Madonna

Print Review

Lost and Stolen Treasures
According to British journalist and art critic Jonathan Jones, "The most amazing thing is not how many masterpieces go missing or get destroyed but that something so fragile as art survives for any length of time at all."

Yet the lead character of The Bellini Madonna, Thomas Joseph Lynch, is counting on the fact that the mysterious work of art he so fanatically desires still exists several hundred years after it was painted. A rather high hope, especially when the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation says art theft constitutes as much as an $8 billion per annum industry and the Bureau has even assembled a thirteen-member crack team to staff their highly specialized Art Theft Program. What's more, there are reported to be over 160,000 art pieces listed on the international Art Loss Register.

Stolen items do not have to be small and easily portable like the tiny, postcard-sized portrait of Lucien Freud by Francis Bacon that went missing from the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin in 1988. Occasionally a work of art such as Henry Moore's 2-meter-high, two-ton bronze "Reclining Figure" disappears as if by the hand of magician David Copperfield. sculptureAuthorities feared that the $5.2 million sculpture was eventually melted down and sold for a meager $2,500 as a lump of raw bronze. More often artwork is selected to be stolen because it will garner the most cold, hard cash.

When Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in 1911, it was supposedly for love of country. Although Pablo Picasso had once been a "person of interest" in the theft, the man eventually arrested for the crime was an Italian laborer who worked at the Louvre and wished to return La Giaconda to its country of origin. sculpture However, according to R.A. Scotti, author of the recently published Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa, the mystery of the beauty's almost two-year exile is far from being solved. Almost a hundred years later a rumor still buzzes about a well-organized team absconded with the beloved Renaissance portrait in order to create forgeries. Of course, this story is unsubstantiated and likely to stay so since all parties are deceased.

Finally, many works of art simply disappear without the aid of foul play: lost in someone's attic, crammed behind a wall in a room addition, or owned by a person who has no idea of the object's intrinsic value. In 2006 two paintings, part of an altarpiece painted by Renaissance artist Fra Angelico, were found behind a door in an apartment in Oxford, England. And everyone has heard of the occasional tag sale painting that turns out to be worth millions. One can always hope!

Article by Donna Chavez

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Bellini Madonna. It originally ran in June 2009 and has been updated for the May 2010 paperback edition.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Confessions of an Innocent Man
    Confessions of an Innocent Man
    by David R. Dow
    It is circumstance that carries the wave that sweeps trendy Houston restaurateur Rafael Zhettah to ...
  • Book Jacket: Memories of the Future
    Memories of the Future
    by Siri Hustvedt
    I've never kept a journal, but my mother has written in hers for years, the annual volumes she's ...
  • Book Jacket: Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
    Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
    by Rajeev Balasubramanyam
    Rajeev Balasubramanyam encapsulates the theme of Professor Chandra Follows his Bliss in its first ...
  • Book Jacket: The Workshop and the World
    The Workshop and the World
    by Robert P. Crease
    The longest glacier in France, the Mer de Glace, is losing roughly 12 feet of ice height each year. ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Greek to Me
    by Mary Norris

    The Comma Queen returns with a buoyant book about language, love, and the wine-dark sea.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Affairs of the Falcóns
    by Melissa Rivero

    A beautiful, urgent novel about the lengths one woman is willing to go to build a new life.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Fly Girls
by Keith O'Brien

How five daring women defied all odds and made aviation history.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win Ecstasy

Win copies to share with friends or your book club!

Ecstasy reveals the true Alma Mahler: composer, author, daughter, mother, wife, lover, and muse.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A B Penny A T U

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.