book cover of The Night Portrait
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The Night Portrait

(2020)
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‘Historical fiction at its best’ Reader review

The Tattooist of Auschwitz meets Girl with a Pearl Earring in this gripping, dual-timeline historical novel about one of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous paintings and the woman who fought to save it from the Nazis.

Simply a masterpiece… Fans of Kristin Hannah’s Nightingale and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See will delight in this epic novel’ Lori Nelson Spielman

Between 1939 and 1943, the Nazis stole every known painting by Leonardo Da Vinci, imprisoning the original owners or worse. This is the story of the most infamous of these thefts…

Munich, 1939

In fear of the brutal Nazi regime, art conservator Edith Becker is forced to find one of the world’s most priceless works of art and hand it over to none other than Hans Frank – the Butcher of Poland.
Confronted by the horrors she witnesses in Poland and risking her own life, Edith tries to hide her own small acts of resistance – and avoid the unpredictable gaze of Frank himself.

Milan, 1492

Cecilia Gallerani, the beautiful mistress of the Duke of Milan must fight for her place in the palace―and against those who want her out. Sitting before Leonardo da Vinci, she becomes the subject of his most ambitious portrait to date.

Two women, separated by 500 years, are swept up in the tide of history as one painting stands at the centre of their quests for their own destinies.

Readers absolutely love The Night Portrait:

‘A truly original novel that has earned its place among my favourite works of historical fiction’ Jennifer Robson

‘I found myself racing through the last chapters to see how the story ended and would definitely recommend this book to historical fiction lovers’ Joanne

‘Gives us so many heartbreaking and yet wonderful experiences…an excellent book that and kept me glued to the pages’ Angela

Remarkable…brushstrokes of magic here’ Book Trail

Breathtaking…this isn’t just another book about WWII’ Sarah

‘A fascinating dual timeline novel with its roots in reality…compelling’ Julia

‘The opulence of the Renaissance period was well juxtaposed with the death and destruction during WWII’ Michele



Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"The Night Portrait is an astonishing, epic tale that seamlessly spans centuries of history and art, encompassing the beauty of the Renaissance and the horrible truths of Nazi Germany. Masterfully imagined and unforgettable, this riveting novel shows us the power of art to bring hope in a world of despair." - Crystal King

"In a brilliantly written narrative that deftly cuts back and forth between the 15th and the 20th centuries, Morelli brings to vivid life the attempts by a German art restorer and an American soldier to rescue works of art from the destruction of war. This is a compelling story of two heroic people, of the young Cecelia who posed for Da Vinci, the artist, and the times they lived in. I am left with an affirmation of the crucial importance of art to a culture and the power of individual action." - Frances Mayes

"Laura Morelli’s The Night Portrait is simply a masterpiece. Morelli imagines a sophisticated plot, fleshes it out with historically significant characters, and spins it into a truly spectacular read. Rarely have I been so caught up in a book as I was with this unforgettable tale of bravery and love, hope and redemption. Fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See will delight in this epic novel." - Lori Nelson Spielman

"The Night Portrait is a compelling page turner at the same time as it is a mesmerizing meditation on legacy, guilt and complicity, the horrors of war, and most of all, the singular power of art. This well-researched and vivid novel is sure to thrill history buffs and art lovers alike." - Alyssa Palombo

"The Night Portrait by Laura Morelli, which links Renaissance Italy and the crucible of World War Two in the most absorbing and innovative fashion, is also a novel of profound emotional resonance. A respected art historian, Morelli brings an exceptional depth of research and understanding to a story already made memorable by her beautiful prose. This is a truly original novel that has earned its place among my favorite works of historical fiction." - Jennifer Robson

"Laura Morelli's The Night Portrait is a gorgeous and propulsive novel that brings to dramatic life the stories of Leonardo da Vinci, the subject of one of his most famous paintings, and the Monuments Men's quest to rescue that masterpiece from the Nazis during World War II. This stunning novel is a great masterpiece on its own, making you see old stories -- and old art -- in fresh, new ways. Perfect for any art lover or anyone who wants to understand why we all must care about the history of art." - Stephanie Storey


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