Books Like Oil and Marble

Books Like Oil and Marble

The Italian Renaissance is widely believed to be the time period that ushered in the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. It is a time known for its excellence in everything from paintings and sculptures to literature, music, science, technology, and more. However, the Italian Renaissance also occurred during a tumultuous period in history where political instability and conflict were rife. All these factors combine to make it a very intriguing setting for historical fiction novels. For example, Oil and Marble by Stephanie Storey feature the rivalry between Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti. For more books that use the Italian Renaissance as a backdrop, check out the following books like Oil and Marble.

The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence: A Story of Botticelli

by Alyssa Palombo

The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence: A Story of Botticelli by Alyssa Palombo

The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo is the story of Simonetta Cattaneo and a young painter named Sandro Botticelli. Simonetta's beauty means she has her pick of suitors in 15th Century Italy, but the young, handsome, and well-educated Marco Vespucci catches her eye. However, when Simonetta is proclaimed to be the most beautiful woman in Florence, Botticelli invites her to pose for him. Unfortunately, the bond between artist and muse begins to blur into passionate intimacy, and he immortalizes Simonetta in his painting, The Birth of Venus.

The Laureate

by Ken Tentarelli

The Laureate by Ken Tentarelli

The Laureate is an Italian Renaissance historical mystery by Nico Argenti. The setting is Florence in 1464, where Nico Argenti is glad to be returning home with a Doctor of Laws Degree. With it, he can be introduced to the guild and start a promising career. However, Nico is surprised when he is summoned to the Chancellor and asked for assistance in defeating a violent plot to overthrow the government. Despite his inexperience, the idealistic lawyer goes undercover in a world of shadowy villains to collect information. Nico only has his quick wits to rely on, while his attempts to save an entire city puts him in life-threatening danger.


by C. De Melo

Sabina by C. De Melo

Sabina By C. De Melo is set during the most intriguing period of Medici history. The star is Sabina Rossi, whose forced marriage ends abruptly during the infamous Pazzi Conspiracy. After being widowed, she finds herself wealthy beyond her dreams and free to pursue her passions. However, 15th century Florence is a patriarchal society, and Sabino must use the utmost discretion to avoid the dire consequences for women who don't follow the rules. Unfortunately, an unexpected betrayal leaves her picking up the pieces of her shattered life, and she fights to save her reputation.

The Fortune Keeper

by Deborah Swift

The Fortune Keeper by Deborah Swift

The Fortune Keeper is a gripping historical novel about Renaissance Italy by Deborah Swift. It follows the story of Mia Caiozzi, who is determined to discover her destiny in the science of astronomy. However, this dangerous occupation is forbidden by her stepmother Giulia, who prefers that Mia lives quietly out of public view. Not only are the ideas of Galileo banned by the Inquisition, but Giulia's real name is Giulia Tofana, who is renowned for her poison Aqua Tofana. Mia rebels against Giulia, unaware that she is hiding from the Duke de Verdi's family, who is seeking revenge for the death of their brother. However, when the two secret lives inevitably collide, both women have their lives changed forever.

Shades of Brilliance

by Eleanor Chance

Shades of Brilliance by Eleanor Chance

Shades of Brilliance is an Italian Renaissance love story and the first of The Master's Protege trilogy by Eleanor Chance. It is the story of Celeste, a young woman who has to protect her younger brothers and sisters from starvation after their mother's death and their drunken father's disappearance. Just when this burden becomes overwhelming, Celeste's life changes when her wealthy aunt appears to appoint her as a nanny to young Federigo Benetto. During this time, Duke Luciano Vicente spots her raw talent and begs her to become his secret protege. Celeste falls in love with Luciano, but when their arrangement is discovered, she is thrown out onto the streets with nothing. Even though the world is working against her, Celeste is determined to achieve her dreams and win the heart of the nobleman she loves.

The Giant

by Laura Morelli

The Giant by Laura Morelli

The Giant by Laura Morelli is set in Renaissance Florence and is the story of Michelangelo's David statue. It follows Fresco painter Jacopo Torni, who wants nothing more than to make his mark on the world. Unfortunately, all he gets are meager painting jobs that barely pay his gambling debts while his peers enjoy prestigious commissions. However, when he hears about a competition to create Florence's greatest sculpture, Jacopo pins all his hopes on collaborating with Michelangelo Buonarroti, his boyhood companion.

Death of The Master Builder

by Mark E. Fisher

Death of the Master Builder by Mark E. Fisher

Death of The Master Builder by Mark E. Fisher is a story about love, envy, and the struggle to raise the greatest cathedral of the Italian Renaissance. Dario Rossi, the hedonistic city ruler of Tuscany, sees a vision of himself writhing in eternal flames, which shakes him to his core. In an attempt to absolve his sins, Dario pleads with a righteous builder named Amedeo to construct the world's largest cathedral. Despite the fact that it will consume a lifetime, Amedeo agrees to build the monument. However, the virtuous builder has to contend with a beautiful, fun-loving woman named Simona, who is pursuing him, and Dario, whose envy causes him to plot the builder's moral downfall.