The Colour Storm

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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

The new spellbinding and enchanting story from the internationally acclaimed author of Tomorrow

Renaissance Venice is a furnace of ideas and ambition. Artists flock here, not just for wealth and fame, but for revolutionary colour. Yet artist Giorgione ‘Zorzo’ Barbarelli’s career hangs in the balance. Competition is fierce, and his debts are piling up. When Zorzo hears a rumour of a mysterious, other-worldly new pigment, brought to Venice by the richest man in Europe, he sets out to acquire the colour and secure his name in history.

Winning a commission to paint a portrait of the man’s wife, Sybille, Zorzo thinks he has found a way into the merchant’s favour. Instead he finds himself caught up in a conspiracy that stretches across Europe and a marriage coming apart inside one of the floating city’s most illustrious palazzos.

As the water levels rise and the plague creeps ever closer, an increasingly desperate Zorzo isn’t sure whom he can trust. Will Sybille prove to be the key to Zorzo’s success, or the reason for his downfall?

Atmospheric and suspenseful, and filled with the famous artists of the era, The Colour Storm is an intoxicating story of art and ambition, love and obsession in Renaissance Venice – capturing a moment of artistic invention that echoes through the centuries.

‘Addictive, ambitious and knife sharp. A compelling thriller and a celebration of art. Ravishing’
Rachel Joyce, bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

‘An epic tale of love, of courage, of hope’ Evening Standard

Bask in the brilliance’ The Mail on Sunday

© Damian Dibben 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

Critics Review

  • Ravishing, addictive, knife-sharp, ambitious, and singing with detail. A compelling thriller that takes us to the heart of sixteenth century Venice where the world’s most famous painters compete to win the greatest commission of their lives. There is so much to think about and relish. Not simply the story itself – with all its glorious twists and turns – but the search to express ourselves. A celebration of art and a hymn to colour.

    Rachel Joyce
  • An engaging thriller and a compelling exploration of an artist’s obsession with love and colour

    Sunday Times
  • The Colour Storm takes readers on a thrilling, murderous journey through the serpentine waters of High Renaissance Venice as one of art history’s most gifted but often overlooked painters – Giorgione – searches for love, fame, and, most importantly, colour. Written with language as vibrant as a Giorgione masterpiece, The Colour Storm is for lovers of art, Italy, and page-turning plot

    Stephanie Storey
  • A terrific book . . . Absorbing, exciting and, dare I say it, colourful. An original tale told beautifully

    A. D. Swanston
  • An intoxicating and illuminating tale, bathed in colour, passion and ambition . . . A must for lovers of Renaissance art and the wonders of sixteenth century Venice

    S. W. Perry
  • A vivid imagining of the artistic world of Renaissance Venice. There is an incredible charm in its depiction of the great painters of the period with all their flesh-and-blood idiosyncrasies and flaws. The life of the studio and the supreme importance of colour in all the essentials of its make up is rendered absolutely convincingly. The work has all the more emotional power as it focusses on a lesser known artist as he negotiates the precarious life of his city alongside competitors, those whose names have resounded through history.

    S. G. MacLean

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