The Second Mrs. Giaconda

The Second Mrs. Giaconda

3.8 11
by E. L. Konigsburg
     
 

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Why did Leonardo da Vinci lavish three years on painting the second wife of an unimportant merchant when all the nobles of Europe were begging for a portrait by his hand? In E. L. Konigsburg's intriguing novel, the answer lies with the complex relationship between the genius, his morally questionable young apprentice, and a young duchess whose plain features belie the…  See more details below

Overview

Why did Leonardo da Vinci lavish three years on painting the second wife of an unimportant merchant when all the nobles of Europe were begging for a portrait by his hand? In E. L. Konigsburg's intriguing novel, the answer lies with the complex relationship between the genius, his morally questionable young apprentice, and a young duchess whose plain features belie the sensitivity of her soul.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" has always been surrounded by mystery, from her enigmatic smile to her identity. Art historians have now determined that she was the second wife of a merchant named Giaconda. Konigsburg's historical fiction presents a thought-provoking premise of why da Vinci chose to paint her portrait when he was in such demand by the nobility. It appears that da Vinci's servant, Salai, had a great deal of influence over his master. The young, fun loving, plain-faced Duchess Beatrice entranced Salai. He told her, "You ought to let Leonardo paint you. He is the guy who believes that you paint a face to show what is inside the head." However, it is not her face, but rather that of an unknown, that becomes the masterpiece. Konigsburg provides lively dialogue and vivid descriptions of the people and settings of the Italian Renaissance as her tale of Beatrice, Salai and da Vinci unfolds. Readers will gain insight into the artist's personality while discovering that answers to questions are not as simple as the smile on one's face. Black and white photo reprints of some of da Vinci's works are included. 1998 (orig.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442439726
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
06/28/2011
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
586,701
File size:
16 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

E.L. Konigsburg is the only author to have won the Newbery Medal and be runner-up in the same year. In 1968, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler won the Newbery Medal and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was named a Newbery Honor Book. Almost thirty years later she won the Newbery Medal once again for The View From Saturday. She has also written and illustrated three picture books: Samuel Todd’s Book of Great Colors, Samuel Todd’s Book of Great Inventions, and Amy Elizabeth Explores Bloomingdale’s. In 2000 she wrote Silent to the Bone, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, among many other honors.

After completing her degree at Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Konigsburg did graduate work in organic chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. For several years she taught science at a private girls’ school. When the third of her three children started kindergarten, she began to write. She now lives on the beach in North Florida.

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