Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Romance of Leonardo Da Vinci” as Want to Read:
The Romance of Leonardo Da Vinci
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  155 Ratings  ·  21 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 1899)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Romance of Leonardo Da Vinci, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Romance of Leonardo Da Vinci

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
"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
Aug 22, 2013 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-inventory
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
Jan 23, 2016 Andrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Невероятно познавательно и вызывает глубокое уважение к автору, который каким-то образом умудрялся находить всю информацию в доинтернетную эпоху. И я действительно очень многое узнал об очень особом для меня персонаже, однако... Я рад, что это не первый и не единственный мой источник информации о Леонардо, и что некоторые произведения его я видел сам, и судить о них могу без призмы Мережковского. Без сомнения, буду и дальше читать его романы, но с поправкой на многие предвзятости, которые в «Вос ...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.
Feb 19, 2008 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 27, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic-fiction
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.
У Дмитрия Мережковского за гибелью богов следует их воскрешение, случившееся спустя тысячу лет. Не сами боги воскресают, а возрождаются чаяния людей, дотоле пребывавших в темноте невежества. Христианские церковные деятели постарались сделать всё для того, чтобы низвести стремление человека к прекрасному, заменив его на слепое раболепное принятие божественного промысла. Люди продолжали с подозрением относиться наукам и искусству, как проявлению влияния дьявола. Они же, исповедовавшие любовь к бли ...more
Sep 08, 2015 Marsha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This particular book was fun to read, mostly because I have a copy from the 1920's or something ( I didn't check the date) and it felt historic along with the text. The author loves description, and at times blows one away with the richness and immersive language. Other times, it seems to go far off topic into a treateese on the times which was interesting, but distracting from the storyline. There is wisdom and texture, fantasy and fact all mixed together for a curious read, esp. for those who ...more
Commander Xell
Jul 22, 2016 Commander Xell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Вот уж гениальная вещь. Не художественная биография, а поэма.

Читается сложно. Тяжеленные фразы. Будто кирпичи для кремля. Читаешь - будто при помощи хитрой механики на недосягаемую высоту их утягиваешь. Со скрипом. Иногда срываешься с мысли... Приходится тянуть всё заново. А дотянешь - красиво и надёжно. И просторы сверху открываются.

Похоже, отсюда растут и "Мастер и Маргарита" (в некоторых местах там прямо диалог с "Воскресшими богами"), и исторические романы советской эпохи о том времени, и "
Dec 28, 2011 Roberta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007, nonfiction
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
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."
Mar 12, 2016 Nathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are great passages where Merezhkovsky painted the world of 16th century Europe. The weaving together of various historical figures was fun to see. I would reread the text, but found the dream-like fantasy scenes with the witches distracting. It is interesting that the book is not on any "must read" lists. It should be.
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.
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.
Dec 03, 2008 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.
Oct 01, 2008 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Liza rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2016
Roberto Hernando
Roberto Hernando rated it liked it
Jan 06, 2010
Lindsay rated it liked it
Sep 02, 2008
Lani Carroll
Lani Carroll rated it it was amazing
Sep 20, 2011
Makaila rated it it was amazing
Mar 25, 2011
Cheryl Grist
Cheryl Grist rated it really liked it
Oct 04, 2016
Katia rated it it was amazing
Jan 13, 2014
Ensembleorganum rated it liked it
Sep 29, 2016
Susannewilliamson rated it it was amazing
Jun 06, 2009
Corina Matusoiu
Corina Matusoiu rated it really liked it
Mar 20, 2013
Hans Schmitz
Hans Schmitz rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2012
Thomas rated it it was amazing
May 29, 2012
Mary Eliasson
Mary Eliasson rated it really liked it
Oct 03, 2013
David rated it it was ok
Jun 30, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Seven Who Were Hanged
  • Sanin: A Novel
  • Leonardo da Vinci: A Life (Penguin Lives Biographies)
  • The Sebastopol Sketches
  • Conquered City
  • The Golovlyov Family
  • A Writer's Diary
  • Aglio, menta e basilico: Marsiglia, il noir e il Mediterraneo
  • The Village
  • Wings
  • Pushkin House
  • The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin
  • Yama: The Pit
  • The Icon and the Axe: An Interpretive History of Russian Culture
  • Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings
  • Generations of Winter
  • Clarence Darrow for the Defense
  • The Age of the Cathedrals: Art and Society, 980-1420
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...

Other Books in the Series

Christ and Antichrist (3 books)
  • The Death of the Gods
  • Peter and Alexis

Share This Book

“The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.” 83 likes
More quotes…