I love when I find new historical author that I can really enjoy. The toilet of Venus was Spanish painter Diego Velázquez's most famous painting. Painting a nude during the inquisition was risky at best and could lead to death for both the model and the painter.
Mujica did such a wonderful job portraying the promiscuous and excessive life at the Spanish Court. A court where eventually the artist would conquer and rise in status and station. The hypocrisy of the Spanish court alongside the inquisition was handles wonderfully. This covered so much more than painting, it covered life at court, the politics and jostling for positions and the marriages made to further alliances. There are many many historical details but the novel and the plot still flows seamlessly. The richness of the descriptions of characters and setting were a joy to read.
The third person narrative is one I had a little trouble getting used to, especially since it was occasionally interspersed with a first person viewpoint. Soon though, I was used to it and at times even liked the break and different viewpoint. The authors note clearly delineates exactly what is true and what is fact, which was an added bonus. I of course looked up the paintings and also looked for a few other books this author has written. Will definitely read more of her.