The Sidewalk Artist

by Gina Buonaguro & Janice Kirk

“Nifty plotting has the main story pause for passages from Tulia’s book and the travelogue she’s reading, keeping this entertaining novel from becoming a sentimental romance. 3½ out of 4 stars.” -People Magazine

Tulia Rose, a New York writer escaping a crumbling relationship and a severe case of writers’ block, chances to meet a sidewalk artist on a Paris street. When she admires his chalk renderings of the Renaissance artist Raphael’s angels, he invites her to share a glass of wine. 

Intrigued by the chalk angels, she begins a novel based on the life of Raphael and the historical mystery of Raphael’s secret lover – a project that takes her on a journey through the art capitals of Europe. But as Tulia begins to unravel that story, her relationship with the sidewalk artist becomes increasingly disconcerting. Why is he so evasive about his past? What is he hiding? Tulia doesn’t know, but she worries she is falling in love with him. As the lines between past and present, dream and reality start to blur, Tulia wonders whether her meeting with the sidewalk artist is really chance or coincidence. 

As the novel draws to its extraordinarily moving close, she – and the reader – uncover both a mystery from the past and the true identity of the sidewalk artist.


eBook – Worldwide
Paperback – US
Paperback – Canada
Also available in Germany and Serbia in translation.

“Nifty plotting has the main story pause for passages from Tulia’s book and the travelogue she’s reading, keeping this entertaining novel from becoming a sentimental romance. 3½ out of 4 stars.”

— People Magazine


— Boston Globe

“The book has floated across the country on the wings of a love-dream for half a year. Now, as summer reading lists start to grow, it’s a likely contender for anyone looking for a fancy, contemporary fable that’s smart but not jaded, innocent but not naive….At 209 pages, it’s perfect for a long plane trip or a lazy afternoon in the shade somewhere.”

— Toledo Blade

“An impressive debut.”

— Historical Novels Review

“Skillfully weaving the past and the present in with a little bit of fact and fiction, The Sidewalk Artist is a beautifully written romantic novel showing how the longevity of the artistic temperament can almost certainly never be assailed.”

— Curled up With a Good

“Full of beautiful sensual language, The Sidewalk Artist will touch anyone with a romantic bone in their body.”

— The Kingston Whig Standard

“A fantasia of a double tale skimming through the art capitals of Europe with double muses, double love pursuits, double Raphaels, even double authors, a tale dripping with idealized romantic settings, mystery, art, and a touch of magic, The Sidewalk Artist will keep readers wondering what is real and what is artifice–as fine paintings always do.”

–Susan Vreeland, author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue:

“The Sidewalk Artist is an inventive tale, beautifully and skillfully told. It is a story that swiftly sweeps the reader up into two intricate and compelling worlds, and does not let go until the very last word. This is a very special book.”

–Diane Haeger, author of The Ruby Ring

“An enchanting story of love and art, bringing to life the passion that inspires both.”

–James McKean, author of Quattrocento

“A beautifully written book with a magical love story.”

–Roberta Gellis, author of Lucrezia Borgia and the Mother of All Poisons

“A deliciously dreamlike tale of modern love and Renaissance romance”

–Jeanne Kalogridis, author of The Borgia Bride

“A charming, Hollywood-ready romance that treads lightly along the edge of pure sentiment.”

–Kirkus Reviews

“Buonaguro and Kirk are to be highly commended. The Sidewalk Artist is destined to become a romantic classic that will appeal to anyone who has tasted the power of love.”

–Christina Wantz Fixemer, Wantz Upon a Time Book Reviews

“Charming and alluring in the old magical senses of the words, The Sidewalk Artist makes even the jaded heart believe in the powers of love and art again. Inspiring.”

–Susann Cokal, author of Mirabilis and Breath and Bones

“The Sidewalk Artist is an enchanting and passionate love story. It is beautifully written with charm and grace. Once I read the first page, I was hooked and couldn’t put it down until the final word was read. All I can say is wow! I was mesmerized all the way through. This is a first novel for Ms. Buonaguro and Ms. Kirk and I look forward to reading more by them.”

– – Jory Reedy, Fresh Fiction

“You don’t have to be a lover of art to appreciate The Sidewalk Artist. Its rich historical details and almost dreamlike qualities make it entrancing and nearly impossible to put down…. A romantic and lushly told story, and one I highly recommend.”

– -Nancy Davis, Romance Reader At Heart

“A smooth-flowing tale of love, enchantment, and mystery.”


“…truly a case of life imitating art.”


“[A] bittersweet debut….dreamily described.”

–Publisher’s Weekly

“In the slew of art/mystery books that have flooded the market in recent years, The Sidewalk Artist stands apart. There are no secret societies, the fate of the world does not depend on Tulia, and the closest thing to an action sequence is riding with Raffaello on the narrow roads of Italy, just hours after he learned to drive. This isn’t a story about changing the world; it is about the changes we go through when we decide to take control of our own destinies, and find the life we were truly meant to lead.”

–Reviewing , My Way

“I read The Sidewalk Artist in one sitting, ignoring everything else until I’d finished the book. Excerpts from Tulia’s novel add interest and suspense, especially when the two love stories seem to merge. The authors’ descriptions of settings (Paris, Venice, Florence) are well drawn, and the dialogue is so “real” that it’s not dialogue, it’s conversation. I will definitely look forward to reading more from Gina Buonaguro and Janice Kirk.”

–Road to

“A very charming book that is a pleasure to read with an ingenuous plot and a likable heroine.”


“The settings are beautifully described and detailed by an author with a keen eye for the intricacies that the romance of Europe offers its visitors….The Sidewalk Artist makes for a quick read and is great if you’re looking for a sweet story to spend a day at the beach with.”


History of sidewalk artists