the official website of author james twining
 
the novels meet james learn more blog

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The Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa. La Gioconda. La Joconde. While some may debate its rightful name, few would question that Da Vinci’s masterpiece is today the most famous painting in the world, although quite why or how it has acquired its iconic status is far less clear. Perhaps it is because so few genuine da Vinci paintings (perhaps 15) survive today. Perhaps it is because the Mona Lisa displays a technical mastery and daring composition that few, if any, have ever surpassed.

Or maybe the answer lies in the fact that almost everything about the painting is shrouded in obscurity.

 

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Theft of the Mona Lisa

Read about the theft, the search and the return of the Mona Lisa.

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The Art of Gilded Seal

See and learn about some of the other exquisite works of art referred to in The Gilded Seal.

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The Paris catacombs
The Paris catacombs are a 300 km (186 mile) network of subterranean tunnels and rooms stretching under Paris...

Heists and cons
The central plot of The Gilded Seal is constructed around and inspired by three real life crimes - the theft of the Mona Lisa in 1911, the theft of the Madonna of the Yarnwinder and a notorious New York international art forgery scam

The Napoleon Death Mask
As was customary upon the passing of a great leader, a death mask or mould of Napoleon's face was made...

Photo Gallery
See photographs of some of the key buildings and places that feature in The Gilded Seal.

Further reading
A useful bibliography for those who want to know more ...

Useful Links
Does exactly what it says on the tin.

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