Madonna of the Future
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A city of myth and masterpieces, Florence, Italy, has been drawing travelers to its streets for hundreds of years. It’s there we find Theobald, a passionate and ready speaker with the poor-bohemian aura of a great artist. Theobald was known to all of expatriate Florence, but more for his great soliloquies than his great works. Like many before him and many after, Theobald had come to Italy from America to be an artist, and he dreamed obsessively of creating his own great masterpiece, a Madonna. But, the city proves as likely to consume him as to inspire him as, surrounded by the great works of Cellini, Raphael, and Michelangelo, Theobald’s resolve, his talent, and even his very self, seem to dissolve. Henry James wrote dozens of works--fiction and nonfiction--on art and artists. This early story remains one of his most endearing and is a great introduction both to James’s work, and to the late-nineteenth century art world and art fiction. This electronic edition of James’s classic text has been newly set, carefully edited, and fully optimized for e-book reading. As a bonus, it includes a mini, illustrated and annotated tour map of the Florence Henry James knew and loved.