Praise for Botticelli’s Bastard

“Stephen Maitland-Lewis’ latest book, Botticelli’s Bastard, is beautifully written and, to its further credit, impossible to categorize. Part thriller, part intriguing mystery, this book is compulsive reading. Above all, it is a first class novel.”

Sir Ronald Harwood
Playwright and Oscar® winning and Oscar® nominated writer of THE PIANIST, THE DRESSER, and THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY. Former President of PEN International and current President of The Royal Literary Fund

Botticelli’s Bastard is a fascinating, complex and completely compelling novel. It has everything I love, history, art, suspense, intelligence and creativity. I was captivated!”

M. J. Rose
International Bestselling Author

“Art restorers bring life to paintings, Giovanni Fabrizzi, the hero of Botticelli’s Bastard brings paintings to life — literally. What ensues is a dazzling tale set in today’s art world where a painting reveals its history, from its origin in Florence to its fate during WWII and beyond. Determined to do the painting and its rightful owner justice, Fabrizzi risks his reputation, his sanity and more importantly his relationship with his wife to establish the truth. Part thriller, part psychological novel, Maitland-Lewis’ new book takes the reader through the back alleys of the art world, where greed, passion, and connoisseurship are masterfully set against the tragic background of history.”

J. Patrice Marandel
The Robert H. Ahmanson Chief Curator of European Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

“If Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde collaborated on an uplifting novel it would have been Botticelli’s Bastard. Maitland-Lewis beat them to the punch. A marvelous, soulful tale.”

Stephen Jay Schwartz
L.A. Times Bestselling Author of BOULEVARD and BEAT

“My interest in collecting important art came together with my love of thrillers. Stephen Maitland-Lewis’ Botticelli’s Bastard is a great read.”

Arnold Kopelson
Oscar® and Golden Globe® acclaimed producer of PLATOON and numerous award-winning films including THE FUGITIVE

“Who has not, when confronted by an interesting or unknown object, frustratingly wondered, ‘if only it could speak’? In the history of art, with often so little known about a work’s authorship, original commission or subsequent provenance, the imploration is even more acute and, alas, the silence more palpable. Maitland-Lewis’s fantasy, Botticelli’s Bastard, takes this concept to its heart. From its astonishing beginning to its appropriate conclusion, the author takes the reader on an emotional journey from the baseness of humanity to its generosity, from deception to forgiveness, from desperation to redemption. In addition, we join the central character on whirlwind trips from London to Italy and elsewhere on the continent to New York and back. Botticelli’s Bastard is of the moment — dealing as it does with art and its desirability, its various owners and, ultimately, its just place in the world.”

Scott Schaefer
Curator emeritus, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

“In this riveting work of historical fiction, Stephen Maitland-Lewis brings a remarkable portrait to life. The centuries of history culminate in a vivid, moving, and highly accurate account of Nazi art plundering and postwar restitution efforts, replete with ethical implications. This story shows how a single painting can intersect with the lives of so many people, and also provides fascinating insight into the contemporary art world.”

Jonathan Petropoulos
Professor of European History, Claremont McKenna College; author (The Faustian Bargain) and former Research Director for Art and Cultural Property on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States

“Maitland-Lewis has surprised us once again with a thoroughly engrossing tale of a mysterious five hundred year-old painting, the bizarre and colorful characters that owned it through the ages and its profoundly romantic ‘restoration’ — in every sense of the word. A terrific read for lovers of art and lovers of life.”

Michael Findlay
author of THE VALUE OF ART

“In this art world mystery story, a cosmopolitan painting’s conservator has a better relationship with a rediscovered Renaissance masterpiece than he does with his beautiful wife, his son and friends. As Giovanni Fabrizzi pursues the picture’s pedigree in London and on the Continent, he learns a great deal about collectors, his family secrets, and himself. An enjoyable and enthralling read!”

Walter Liedtke
Curator of European Paintings, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Botticelli’s Bastard is a terrific read! Like all great fiction, this book introduces the reader to people, places and unique circumstances, unknown and hard to believe at first, but we are taken in and swept away by this extraordinary story. Along the way we learn about art, art history, fathers and sons, husbands and wives, the power of persistence and belief, and finally, the Nazi theft of art during the Second World War. Ambitious ground to cover for sure, but the author does so with passion and panache. With the summer reading season upon us, this is the book you should take with you on vacation. An ancillary benefit to the book is that the reader will never look at a portrait – any portrait – in the same way again!”

James A. Cobb, Jr.
author of FLOOD OF LIES, Adjunct Professor of Law, Tulane University

“Unputdownable, fascinating, I devoured Botticelli’s Bastard in a single sitting and only wish it could have lasted longer. This incredible (quite literally!) story delivers on every level… full of riveting historical color, the plot has as many twists and turns as a corkscrew and I can’t wait to see the movie.”

Gully Wells

Botticelli’s Bastard is a wonderful story. A portrait leads an art restorer on a journey to unmask the truth of a stolen painting and restore honor and love to those involved. A read for all seasons. An entertaining, educational book with an inspirational ending. Loved it. And — If you like this book there is Ambition, Emeralds Never Fade and Hero On Three Continents to enjoy.”

James A. Misko

“In this one book, Stephen Maitland-Lewis has intrigued me with an original mystery, entertained me with good humor and educated me in the world of art, all while taking me on a tour of Great Britain, France and Italy with a side trip to New York. Most appealing is the lead character who is the most moral of men living with a most unusual secret.”

Saul Turteltaub
television writer and producer

“One man’s longing for distraction becomes a life-changing journey to find redemption for many, as he struggles to strike a balance between integrity and desire. Well-played and imaginative, Botticelli’s Bastard is the story of learning to trust in the heart of truth in order to liberate oneself from the prison of the past.

      “Not often do we see a historical fiction that navigates us through themes of thirsted-for resolve, the complexities of exhuming shameful secrets, and coping with the guilt, strain, and doubt that accompany tragedy, while remaining strangely charming from its first page until its satisfying dénouement. An out-of-the-ordinary novel that is a pleasure to read, Stephen Maitland-Lewis has achieved a reader’s delight; simply open the book and he will take over from there.”

Jack Deadmen

“When I was introduced to the protagonist in Stephen Maitland-Lewis’s novel, Botticelli’s Bastard, I realized that destiny is not necessarily carved in stone. With every journey, we can either lose ourselves completely or return with a greater knowledge and awareness. Page after page, I was immersed in the mystery of the Botticelli painting but also I was simultaneously drawn into a world of emotion and drama through the moral dilemma of the painting’s restorer. Botticelli’s Bastard — Pure Elegance!”

Mario Canali
Major Italian contemporary artist and pioneer in Digital Art.

“Maitland-Lewis has crafted a canvas of his own as he masterfully weaves an intriguing story about an heirloom. It’s an enjoyable, informative, and an entertaining read from beginning to end. And, after having read it, you will never look at a painting of a portrait the same way again.”

Rabbi Jerry Ram Cutler
Movie critic, Beverly Hills Courier

“Maitland-Lewis’ Botticelli’s Bastard is an exciting novel that will likely make most collectors pay more attention to an item’s provenance. This is a MUST read for anyone who has ever collected anything… especially fine art.”

David Niven Jr.
Former Vice President of both Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures and an art collector

“Mr Maitland-Lewis imbues his newest novel with a strong sense of place and fascinating characters... The pages carry pigeons and old stone and the scent of linseed oil. Gripping and delightful.”

James C. Mulligan
Disney Artist