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The Second Mrs. Giaconda ☀ [PDF / Epub] ★ The Second Mrs. Giaconda By E.L. Konigsburg ✍ – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk 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 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.


About the Author: E.L. Konigsburg

Elaine Lobl Konigsburg was an American author and illustrator of children s books and young adult fiction She was the only author to win the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor in the same year , with her second and first books respectively From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth Kongisburg won a second Newbery Medal in The Second Kindle - for The View from Saturday, years later, the longest span between any two Newberys awarded to one author.



10 thoughts on “The Second Mrs. Giaconda

  1. Josiah Josiah says:

    Some of E.L Konigsburg s finest novels debuted in the 1970s Featuring witty, assertive main characters and original plot ideas, these books were a cut above most of their peers, and The Second Mrs Giaconda may be Ms Konigsburg s most intriguing concept from that decade It takes us back to 1490s Milan, Italy to explore perhaps the biggest mystery of the Renaissance why did Leonardo da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa, arguably the greatest piece of art ever made The model for it was the plain loo Some of E.L Konigsburg s finest novels debuted in the 1970s Featuring witty, assertive main characters and original plot ideas, these books were a cut above most of their peers, and The Second Mrs Giaconda may be Ms Konigsburg s most intriguing concept from that decade It takes us back to 1490s Milan, Italy to explore perhaps the biggest mystery of the Renaissance why did Leonardo da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa, arguably the greatest piece of art ever made The model for it was the plain looking wife of an ordinary Florentine merchant Important men across Europe clad for Leonardo to immortalize their wives on canvas, yet he saved his utmost creative passion for a portrait that offered limited profitability and notoriety In this book, we discover a possible answer as to why Gian Giacomo de Caprotti, called Salai, is a ten year old pickpocket when Leonardo accepts him as an apprentice Salai shows no artistic promise, yet vaults to prominence among Leonardo s apprentices The master loves the boy s sense of mirth and irreverence, his cleverness if not his artistic vision When Leonardo s patron, Duke Ludovico Maria Sforza known as Il Moro , becomes entangled in a pledge to marry the second daughter of the Duke of Ferrara, Salai meets this daughter and the two form a fast friendship Beatrice is not physically attractive like her elder sister Isabella, but Isabella is promised to another noble, so Il Moro has to settle for Beatrice Il Moro can t be bothered to tend to her with any regularity, but Salai finds Beatrice to be an intelligent companion whose opinions on art and philosophy equal those of any renowned critic Leonardo, a genius of artistic and scientific advancement, turns to Beatrice as a worthy partner for conversation, and his esteem causes Il Moro to take a second look at his homely wife Perhaps she is a spouse to be proud of after all Salai revels in his own relationship with Beatrice, but their time together dwindles as Il Moro grows to love his wife and treat her as a valued member of his household Salai now only interacts with her during brief conversations on the street, littlethan hasty exchanges of greeting In the meantime, Salai secretly uses his association with Leonardo to earn extra income for his father and sister, who live in poverty He occasionally swipes unfinished sketches by the master and sells them to artists, who then create inferior versions of Leonardo originals The master scarcely notices, if he does at all, and Salai progresses to selling in person meetings with Leonardo, a privilege that Italy s richest pay good money for Salai s family won t go hungry as long as he s capitalizing on Leonardo s reputation In those rare moments over the years when Salai is able to visit Beatrice, he learns she hasn t lost her mischievous humor and knack for appraising art, and her commentary on Leonardo s new pieces provide Salai a fresh take on his master s work Beatrice has had a decent life as Il Moro s wife, but his original tepidness returns when another woman captures his fancy, and Beatrice s declining years are not destined to be happy Salai cherishes her, as does Leonardo, but the master won t express his feelings in any way common to man He has a grander tribute in store for Beatrice, seizing his opportunity to link her to his legacy as a demigod among artists Even Salai will agree the master has done justice to their friend The creative zeal and wide ranging erudition of the Renaissance coalesce in Beatrice, whose mind is wondrous even as her face excites no suitor She is not ugly, merely plain, which may be worse for attracting a man of prestige to seek her hand in marriage Compared to Isabella s comeliness, Beatrice is a severe downgrade, but she is the one that any man of substance would wish to call his life partner She grasps the nuances of Leonardo s staggering genius as few can, a fact made evident in her critique of the horse sculpture he worked on for a decade as a commission for Emperor Maximilian of the Holy Roman Empire Salai is impressed by the twenty six foot high sculpture, but Beatrice privately shares with him her disappointment Leonardo needs a wild element, she says All great art needs it something that leaps and flickers Some artists can put that wild element into the treatment itself, but Leonardo cannot He is too self conscious When he has an important commission from an important client on an important subject, he ties up all his instincts He strives, not to let himself go, but to be perfect Beatrice points to the raw outline the master has started on his wall painting for a group of monks, a work that will become The Last Supper Even in its roughest stage, it contains an unencumbered passion that Maximilian s horse bears none of An artistic genius must let his instincts run free, yet temper the wildness with discipline if the end result is to stand the test of time The admixture is one that not even Leonardo da Vinci always gets right, but is present in every transcendent work of art When Salai shows Beatrice The Last Supper close to completion, she recognizes its import No one who sees this will ever be free of Leonardo s vision From this time on every painter of the Last Supper will be a follower No onecan see this painting and be but different for having seen it When an artist like Leonardo creates a definitive masterpiece of its type, the anxiety of influence bleeds down through the centuries, coloring the perception of every artist so that even the best work of that type is, subconsciously, an attempt to recreate the original Lasting anxiety of influence is the ultimate measure of greatness, and this is what Beatrice predicts for Leonardo and The Last Supper Most consumers of high art will never know who she was, but Beatrice is inextricably entwined with Leonardo s excellence The Second Mrs Giaconda is a novel of depth and character, one I can only imagine coming from E.L Konigsburg The ending could have beenemotionally resonant, so I ll go with a two and a half star rating, but I m rounding up to three Salai and Beatrice are fully realized characters, brimming with the energy of life Leonardo is as distant and enigmatic as history says, a strong depiction of one of the remarkable individuals in the human record There are E.L Konigsburg novels I prefer to The Second Mrs Giaconda, but if you want a taste of her unique storytelling style, this one is a good option It was no accident that Ms Konigsburg won two Newbery Medals in her career


  2. Annemarie Annemarie says:

    You know, it s tough when you re teaching a sixth grade IMG class and you read something that makes you start to tear up and you have to pretend you re not crying I loved this book I love Konigsburg in general, but this i think is one the best and littliest known works by this great author This tale is a wonderful story with woven strands of history about Da Vinci braided into a fictional but fascinating possible account of who the Mona Lisa really is Highly recommend it


  3. Cheryl Cheryl says:

    One thing Konisgburg always does well is subtle depths Some of the other reviewers wantedcharacterization apparently they weren t willing to read between the lines Others wantedof the model Mona Lisa herself but that wasn t the point Others wantedhistory not remembering that not enough is known to build a novel on, and such is admitted in the preface.Anyway, thoughtful and poignant, with some truly beautiful bits, as is usual from this author.I love when Beatric One thing Konisgburg always does well is subtle depths Some of the other reviewers wantedcharacterization apparently they weren t willing to read between the lines Others wantedof the model Mona Lisa herself but that wasn t the point Others wantedhistory not remembering that not enough is known to build a novel on, and such is admitted in the preface.Anyway, thoughtful and poignant, with some truly beautiful bits, as is usual from this author.I love when Beatrice teaches Salai about art, in the process of telling him why he is important to Leonardo A person looking at a work of art should not be slapped to attention he should be wooed And Leonardo needs a wild element All great art needs it something that leaps and flickers He is too self conscious When he has an important commission he ties up all his instincts


  4. Teresa Teresa says:

    I wanted to like this children s bookthan I did because Konigsburg s From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler was one of my absolute favorites when I was a kid, one I reread multiple times, and one I ve given as a gift many times.My main issue with this book, though it has a great premise, is that there s not enough characterization or even plot It also needsatmosphere and place , and less straight telling In From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler , I fel I wanted to like this children s bookthan I did because Konigsburg s From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler was one of my absolute favorites when I was a kid, one I reread multiple times, and one I ve given as a gift many times.My main issue with this book, though it has a great premise, is that there s not enough characterization or even plot It also needsatmosphere and place , and less straight telling In From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler , I felt like I was in the museum with the two children Even if I d read this book as a child, I don t think I would ve felt like I was in Italy with the main character.However, as a kid, I would ve been happy to see that the reproductions of the paintings mentioned in the book are included in the back That, along with the tidbits about the paintings in the novel itself, would probably get a young reader interested evenin da Vinci.A side note I don t know why the cover says Giaconda when it is clearly written Gioconda on the title page and in the text


  5. Rebecca Radnor Rebecca Radnor says:

    A book about Leonardo s assistant NOT a book about the Mona Lisa, anyone who wrote that didn t actually read the book , could be used in an art class This book suffers the same fate as movies with a misleading trailer Folks go to the movie theater expecting one thing, and then leave dissatisfied and unhappy because they didn t get it Good movies have died at the box office for just this reason, and I think this book falls into that category because of misleading dust jacket.This is the story A book about Leonardo s assistant NOT a book about the Mona Lisa, anyone who wrote that didn t actually read the book , could be used in an art class This book suffers the same fate as movies with a misleading trailer Folks go to the movie theater expecting one thing, and then leave dissatisfied and unhappy because they didn t get it Good movies have died at the box office for just this reason, and I think this book falls into that category because of misleading dust jacket.This is the story of Leonardo s personal assistant Salai, and the dynamics of his relationship with his employer from the first day when Salai tried to steal Leonardo s purse, to the day Mona Lisa walks into their studio It is NOT NOT NOT about Mona Lisa Leonardo wrote about Salai a little in his notes, is thought to have sketched him one the sketch is included and left him a house in his will, all of this was in spite of the fact that he describes Salai as a thief and a scoundrel The author apparently wondered why, and this story is the answer to her own question and incidentally it s about the Mona LisaThe book s cover, and its title, promise to answer the question of who was Mona Lisa, and why did Leonardo painted her and it does, but only in the last 3 pages so that when you re 3 4 s through you begin to wonder if it will ever happen By the final page Leonardo has not met her yet, just Salai, who knows that his master will want to paint her and why in other words, everything up until that point is a set up and as a result, the book feels unresolved We get a mild sense of Leonardo and of the period, a sense of the wars between France and the city states of Italy but mostly the book is about Salai.So, when handing this book to a student say, this book is about Salai, the personal assistant of Leonardo, and you will learn a bit about Leonardo and about Italy Ignore the emphasis on Mona Lisa on the cover, that s just the sales pitch to get you to buy the book


  6. Summer Rosario Summer Rosario says:

    This was a woman who knew that she was not pretty and who had learned to live with that knowledge This was a woman whose acceptance of herself had made her beautiful in a deep and hidden way A woman whose look told you that you were being sized up by a measuring rod in her head a measuring rod on which she alone had etched the units A woman who knew how to give pleasure and how to give pain A woman who knew how to endure A woman of layers.


  7. Heather Heather says:

    Why did Leonardo da Vinci paint the portrait of the plain second wife of a a merchant, the Mona Lisa The Second Mrs Giocondafollows the story of Salai, Leonardo s young servant, through his friendship with another plain woman, the Duchess Beatrice, in order to attempt to answer this question The book is a quick read and quite interesting I recommend this book to middle grade age kids who are interested in or studying da Vinci.


  8. Lucy Lucy says:

    The Second Mrs Giaconda was a great book If I had chosen it off the shelves at the library would not have had wanted to finish it, but since I was forced to read it for a Literature Circle I really liked it and would recommend it too anyone interested in Leonardo da Vinci.


  9. Julie Julie says:

    A wonderful little book


  10. Jonah Schumeister Jonah Schumeister says:

    The book was excellent.


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