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The Romance of Leonardo Da Vinci (Christ and Antichrist #2)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  99 ratings  ·  15 reviews
At the turn of the 20th century a brilliant Russian writer, Dmitri Merejkowski, wrote this novel, "The Romance of Leonardo Da Vinci," a profound meditation on art and religion. Merejkowski portrays Leonardo as a man of many facets, some of which may be grouped as pagan, some of which are Christian. As a result, Leonardo was filled with conflict and doubts. Striving for the ...more
Paperback, 618 pages
Published October 24th 2009 by Ishi Press (first published 1900)
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Hadrian
"Ay, now I understand you, Niccolò," said the artist, deeply pensive. "Only it seems to me that the free man is not he who, like Cesare, dares all because he knows naught and loves naught, but rather because he knows and loves. Only through such freedom shall men conquer evil and good, the height and the depth; all earthly obstacles and bounds, all its burdens, becoming even as the gods,—and shall fly."

"Fly?" said Niccolò, perplexed.

"When perfect knowledge shall be theirs, they shall create wing
...more
Steven
This was one of the novels, if not THE novel, that fueled Joseph Campbell's lifelong obsession with the hero's journey. Even in his journals, Campbell's enthusiasm for the work is contagious. And understandably so. Merezhkovsky wrote the quintessential gnostic counterpart to Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy. Without despair, without pessimism or futility, Merezhkovsky reveals in the life of Leonardo da Vinci the cynosure of the sacred and the profane--a Renaissance Trismegistus who in all things see ...more
Cassandra Kay Silva
I did enjoy the writing in this one, the style was pretty. I am not sure if I liked the plot, and felt like all of Leonardo's dialogue was very scripted. Some of the other characters in this were really all over the place. Leonardo is always a brilliant subject matter though. I still think you are better off reading the Agony and the Ecstasy instead. It did of course remind you of all of the ridiculous superstitions religious crap that surrounded this time period, which all seemed very daunting. ...more
Jim
I read this together with "The Agony and the Ecstasy", Machiavelli's "The Prince", and Cellini's autobiography... a very entertaining portal into the art and culture of 16th century Italy.
Roberta
Lettura interessante della vita romanzata di Leonardo di Vinci: dai primi passi mossi nella natìa Firenze ai lavori compiuti sotto il protettorato di vari signorotti - tra i quali il vituperato Borgia. Mereskovskij ci racconta i dilemmi di Leonardo, uomo curioso della natura, instancabile osservatore, pensatore, costruttore e pittore, le sue amicizie (notabile il rapporto con Machiavelli) gli uomini che cercarono sempre di ostacolarlo (come Michelangelo). L'affresco di un periodo storico estrema ...more
Suzanne
It was interesting to read about some of the same time period that was covered in "The Agony and the Ecstacy", but from Leonardo's perspective, especially the conflict that existed between Michaelangelo and Leonardo. I liked this quote on page 414, "He had also another recollection of his earliest childhood, of those recollections which seem absurd to others, but, to him that keeps them hidden in his soul, filled with mystery, like prophetic dreams."
James
The spirit and gemius of Leonardo da Vinci imbue the pages of this biographical romance. Leonardo's achievements in art and science, the fecundity of his mind and the almost infinite bounds of his imagination are portrayed against the background of Renaissance intrigue in Italy. This portrait captures some of the greatness of Leonardo and his time.
Peter
This book is a mystical parable by a lesser known russian author. I bought this book at a rummage sale for nothing, and I loved it. It is one of my ambitions in life to write this up as a screen play. I think you will like it.
Carolyn
While it was "dry" reading, I found that I couldn't stop reading it. I knew very little of Italian history or Da Vinci's involvement with the Borgias and the Medicis.
mama/patty
Aug 10, 2009 mama/patty marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I was given this hard cover 1954 edition by a friend who is the widow of the owner of the book. Can't wait to read it.
L.  (Will I Hit 400?)
Everyone famous from this era gets at least a walk-on part.
Erica
Oct 12, 2007 Erica marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
1938 hard cover English edition.
Linda
It did what I wanted it to do. With all the pop culture surrounding this man recently - I wanted a "pre-pop" perspective. He was truely a remarkable man.
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Dmitry Sergeyevich Merezhkovsky, (Russian: Дмитрий Сергеевич Мережковский) was a Russian novelist, poet, religious thinker, and literary critic. A seminal figure of the Silver Age of Russian Poetry, regarded as a co-founder of the Symbolist movement, Merezhkovsky – with his poet wife Zinaida Gippius – was twice forced into political exile. During his second exile (1918–1941) he continued publishin ...more
More about Dmitry Merezhkovsky...

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