Apprentice

Apprentice

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by Pilar Molina Llorente, Juan Ramon Alonso
     
 

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In Renaissance Florence, thirteen-year-old apprentice Arduino's dreams of being a painter are challenged after he discovers the extreme measures the Maestro Cosimo di Forlç will take in the name of jealousy. Arduino faces a decision that could cost him his only chance to realize his life's dream.
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Overview

In Renaissance Florence, thirteen-year-old apprentice Arduino's dreams of being a painter are challenged after he discovers the extreme measures the Maestro Cosimo di Forlç will take in the name of jealousy. Arduino faces a decision that could cost him his only chance to realize his life's dream.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in Renaissance Florence, this import from Spain begins as a gothic. Arduino, a 13-year-old boy from a family of prestigious tailors, convinces his father to apprentice him to a master painter, only to find that the Maestro is ill-tempered, miserly and , out of jealousy, has secretly imprisoned a gifted, orphaned apprentice in the attic. At this point Llorente's plotting turns operatic, with fortuitously timed illnesses (the Maestro's), the entrance of a benevolent duke with a handsome commission to bestow and Arduino, the newest boy in the atelier, suddenly calling the shots. Each of the characters is a type of extreme, either saintly or heinous or impassioned, although the Maestro manages, at various stages, to be all three. A motif about individual freedom only adds to the ballast. This title is the first by Llorente and Alonso to appear in the U.S. Ages 10-up. (Aug.)
The ALAN Review - John Noell Moore
The son of a successful tailor in Renaissance Florence, thirteen-year-old Arduino Neri dreams of becoming a painter and is apprenticed to Maestro Cosimo di Forli. In the company of three other apprentices and the housekeeper Melania, Arduino, though talented, is treated as a servant. He discovers that the tyrannical Maestro has imprisoned the artist Donato in the attic because he fears the youth's talent. Arduino secretly befriends Donato, learns about painting from him, and helps secure his release. A jealous apprentice's double cross almost ruins Arduino's artistic dreams, but all is resolved when a rich patron comes to the rescue. Though the novel briefly dramatizes the lack of choice by women in this society, its failure to develop this idea is a major disappointment, and the unfortunate fairy-tale ending resolves the real issues of the novel all too blithely. Nonetheless, it is recommended for middle-school readers for its easy reading, historical interest, and intrigue.
Hazel Rochman
This short novel, set in Renaissance Florence, is about 13-year-old Arduino, the tailor's son, who gets to pursue his dream of working as apprentice to a great painter, Maestro Cosimo de Forli. But Arduino discovers that the painter is not what he seems. His house is a "nest of misery and envy," and it hides a sinister secret: the jealous Maestro keeps his best student chained in the attic. Arduino finds the courage to free the prisoner, who turns out to be the true Maestro, a gifted artist and generous mentor, and the two of them work together on an exciting commission for a noble patron. Translated from the Spanish and part of the Flagship series of international fiction, the story is melodramatic, and many characters are one-dimensional (especially the saintly prisoner-artist); and although it's good for readers to be reminded that Renaissance women had no chance to follow their dreams, the message is overstated. Woven into Arduino's first-person narrative is his dogged learning of his craft, the complicated technique of fresco painting. That's the most convincing part of the story: the sense of what it's like to be an artist--the obsession, the drudgery, and the vision. What Arduino learns about light and line, balance and composition, makes you pay attention to the black-and-white illustrations that show him at work.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780785758013
Publisher:
San Val
Publication date:
08/28/1994
Product dimensions:
5.24(w) x 7.88(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

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