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An Adoration of Beauty-bookcover

By: Robin Vicary

An Adoration of Beauty

Pages: 246 Ratings: 4.8
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Darius Bukhari, lecturer of Renaissance Art at The Courtauld Institute of Fine Art in London, is left with a mystery after the visit of Judith St John James, who brings him letters from long ago concerning the disappearance of a painting by famed Florentine artist Sandro Botticelli.

Back in the 15th century, Botticelli creates a wondrous new painting in his artist’s studio in Florence. The painting, the first copy of The Birth of Venus, is overpainted, stolen and vanishes.

In London of the mid-Victorian era, two young men – Dr Thomas Fielding, physician to the elite, and Viscount Dearly, famed poet and forebear of Judith – set out for Italy to follow in the footsteps of the Romantic poets. They end up in a dingy Roman junk shop where they make an extraordinary discovery.

Following their return to London, Tom Fielding, chased by a criminal gang, is forced to leave England immediately, taking the painting with him. He travels through Central Africa with Dr David Livingstone and then once more the painting disappears.

Finally, Darius and Judith embark on a journey through Africa attempting to discover the final resting place of the missing painting.

Robin Vicary is aged 73 years and lives in North London. He started writing two years ago and has written 16 short stories (self-published as A Dangerous Affair.)

His first novel, The Pendant Sapphire, a story of the disappearance of a Faberge egg, is set in 19th century Russia and was self-published in 2019.

In a former life he was a gastro-enterologist at the Whittington Hospital, London.

Customer Reviews
4 reviews
4 reviews
  • Anonymous

    It was gripping. So, it took me only five hours to read An Adoration Of Beauty. A real page-turner. If you have a wet day this winter and want to give yourself a treat, get it and read it.

  • Anna Pantelias

    Amazing book !
    Once I started reading I couldn't put the book down - really enjoyed it.
    Beautifully written and very clever story telling.
    Wonderful descriptions throughout
    A truly amazing story.

  • Paul du Plessis

    An Adoration of Beauty is Robin Vicary at his best, weaving detailed research with a rich imagination into a story that grips to the final chapter.
    He introduces us to the history of Florentine art, touches London expertise rubbing shoulders with the underworld before moving into 19th century Central Africa.
    His characters give insight into a wide range of aspiration and achievement, thought and emotion that reveals a depth of human understanding and provide the basis for an informative and entertaining story.
    The use of the personal pronoun seemed out of place at times, but on further reflection relates a sense of immediacy with the impression that the author himself was actually there in person. Perhaps he was?
    It's a thoroughly good read. I hope this is not his last.

  • An Adoration of Beauty – Robin Vicary.

    This is one ripping good yarn – I could hardly put it down. It revolves around a stolen and lost painting by Sandro Botticelli and is full of excitement and suspense – and the adoration of beauty. The story follows the painting from its creation in Renaissance Florence, through to its emergence in a Roman junk shop where it is bought by Victorian travellers, through to its transfer to central Africa by one of those Victorians (who is escaping from London gangsters) and its eventual burial in a cave near the Zambezi river. The story ends with the painting in modern-day Zambia and then finally returned to the Uffizi in Florence via London.
    The book is richly evocative of 15th Century Renaissance Florence, Victorian London, the central Africa of David Livingstone (who is joined by the escaping Victorian) and modern-day Zambia. It is a wonderful ride through different times and places, completely absorbing, full of excitement and romance and humanity.
    Review by Malcolm Webb – whose passions in life include Renaissance art, Florence, central Africa - and David Livingstone!

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