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The Colour Storm by Damien Dibben

Venice, 1510. The world’s greatest artists gather to enjoy fame, fortune and colour. Once a rising star, painter Giorgione “Zorzo’ Barbarelli’s career hangs in the balance. Until he hears rumour of a mysterious new pigment, brought to Venice by a wealthy merchant. When Zorzo wins a commission to paint a portrait of the merchant’s wife, Sybille, he draws ever closer to acquiring the most coveted colour in the world – and writing his name in history. But it is Sybille whose eye he catches. And when their relationship drags Zorzo into a conspiracy spanning Europe, it is far more than his career in danger.A beautifully painted world of ambition, power and art with the Venice of the time vividly brought to life. There is a richness of detail in what is at the same time, a love story, a thriller and the story of artists’s obsessions with colour and beauty, their creative vision often at odds with their need to make a living, to paint what is demanded of them, to seek patronages and commissions to ensure the continuance of their studios and the apprentices who rely upon them. An enjoyable page-turner that taught me a lot about art and Venice.

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