Oil and Marble by Stephanie Storey is about Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti and how their rivalry may have spurred them on to create great works of art in order to out-do each other (in this case, the Mona Lisa and David). The book is historical fiction so although the characters are real and they both lived in Florence at the time this story took place, the story itself is fictional.
The author did a nice job of capturing the personalities of Leonardo and Michelangelo – Leonardo, at this time in his life, was well-known and used to the comforts that his works and reputation brought him while Michelangelo was intense and somewhat of an idealist. There were also tidbits about the family life of the two artists. I know that Michelangelo’s family was against his being a sculptor, but I don’t know if much more than that was true.
This book is a great way to get an introduction to two of the great Renaissance artists.
If you liked this book, I would also recommend The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone. The book by Irving Stone focuses on Michelangelo’s life and goes more in depth with his struggles as an artist.
Disclosure: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.