Thursday, 5 July 2012

Metin Arditi: LE TURQUETTO

August 2011, 288 pages

              ·    65,000 copies sold in France
·    Rights sold to Turkey (Can Yayinlari), Greece (Kalendis), Italy (Neri Pozza), Poland (Noir sur Blanc) and Serbia (Laguna), and under option in Slovenia
·    Awarded the Prix des Libraires de Nancy – Le Point and the Prix Page des Libraires
·    Short-listed for the Prix Roman FNAC

Could it be possible that a famous painting - whose signature bears a discrete anomaly - is the only work to remain by one of the greatest painters of the Venetian Renaissance? Equal to Titian or Veronese?

Born in Constantinople in about 1519, Elias Soriano was very young when he immigrated to Venice under a secret identity. He changed his name to Elias Troyanos, spent a lot of time in Titian’s workshop, and made an outstanding career as the Turquetto: the "Little Turk", as Titian used to nickname him. Arditi recounts the hectic destiny of the artist who was born a Jew in Muslim lands, had developed a Christian faith, and who was finally prosecuted for heresy. His multicultural experience enhanced the sublimation of his art by the fusion of the art of colour which he acquired in Venice, by the precision of his drawing he exercised in Florence, and by his native ability for spirituality. According to Arditi, the addition of these gifts and  Turquetto’s broad vision of the world made him “the greatest painter of the Renaissance”. 
This colourful novel is the story of the life of a man, who had an unstoppable passion for art and painting, and who denied and hid his religion that forbade him to be a painter in the context of the Renaissance. It is a rhythmic and richly chromatic account that focuses on themes such as filiation, the complex connection between the art world and power, and the religious influences on Turquetto’s work.
                Metin Arditi was born in Turkey and is at the confluence of several Mediterranean civilizations and cultures. He now lives in Switzerland where he is a lecturer at Ecole polytechnique. He is also the author of VICTORIA-HALL (2004, Prix du Premier Roman de Sablet), L’IMPREVISIBLE (2006, Prix des lecteurs Fnac Riviera), LA FILLE DES LOUGANIS (2007, Prix Verion Femina Virgin Megastore ; Prix Ronsard des lycéens and Prix de l’Office central des bibliothèques 2008).

« Metin Arditi a composé une espèce de conte philosophique et humaniste, une célébration optimiste de la création artistique, plus forte que tout et qui finit par triompher des pires obstacles : la pauvreté, le fanatisme, la mort même »
Livres Hebdo
« Un mélange irrésistible d’expériences et de connaissances »
Edmonde Charles-Roux de l’Académie Goncourt, in La Provence
« Roman historique, roman d’aventures, impeccablement construit »
Le Point
« Entre ombre et lumière, avec force de détails, Metin Arditi met magistralement en perspective l’art pictural avec les contradictions du pouvoir, de la religion et de la filiation » Page