Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 14 members
We start this graphic novel with a virgin birth – future scientists clone Leonardo da Vinci from a smudge of his fingerprint on a painting of the Madonna, and make sure he grows up learning just what the great man once knew. For there's an intergalactic war to win, and that is something they're needing his help with. While his training and production montages play out, as it were, we see back to the original, Leonardo #1, with a confession to us of his being illegitimate, a bit of a sodomite, and so on, and we're also shown him try and become the producer of wonders back then and fail. Wings for manned flight? Crashed. Canal diggers? Too costly. And so on. I don't quite think the book really convinced on the sci-fi side of things; we're told the spaceship that houses Leonardo #2's creators is the last vestige of humanity, but I didn't really feel much concern for their/our victory. What I did like, especially in the light of other books from this graphic-novels-built-to-parade-the-Louvre-catalogue series, was how inventively different the conceit was, and how so many pages got to crib from the man himself, using da Vinci artwork and designs as background to this book's images. Ultimately, despite some reservations (I didn't get the impression the translation of the text, scattered about different corners of every frame as it is, was as flowing and readable as it could be), I do think this something pretty impressive indeed. Yes, the sci-fi wasn't perfect, but it did resolve itself in very satisfying ways, yes the art was a true homage to the original, with a lot of talent needed to be so, and also yes, this book served as a true tip of the hat to Leonardo #1. If you come here knowing of his biography (the legend of his tutor retiring on the spot at the sight of the young man's angel creation, etc) you'll find a book that suitably talks about da Vinci, shows us a version of him and successfully uses him as base for something quite extraordinarily different, all at the same time. Putting all that into two covers must have been a stretch, and there were times reading this I felt it beyond this creator, but he did a damned good job of it in the finish. For being brave, and putting hard work back on the pages of graphic novels, I have to give this four stars. Also from this publisher – 9781681122595 – Leonardo da Vinci, the Renaissance of the World Also using the Louvre – 9781681122571 – Red Mother With Child, amongst others
This was a beautiful piece of art. Truly, it shows how graphic novels can be an artform unto themselves. The story itself was nothing particularly special, in my opinion, but the artwork was so painstakingly created. It is a beautiful piece to read and view.
This is a dreamy, ethereal work. If you're looking for a concrete, literal story, this won't be for you. It's almost gentle despite the topic, and feels warm and introspective. Of course this is probably due to the distinct da Vinci style the book remains faithful to. It's the kind of book you read on a rainy afternoon and just let yourself drift... I would totally recommend this as a story you can visit several times a receive a new message each time. (GoodReads review 09.22.20)
This graphic novel is something quite remarkable indeed. In terms of art style, it’s the most impressive GN I’ve ever read. This space opera is set in the year 15014 after the Earth has long been destroyed by alien invaders. Aboard the ship Renaissance, the last of humankind return to Earth in search of a Leonardo Da Vinci painting within the ruins of the Louvre. On this painting, they find a fingerprint which they use to create a Da Vinci clone to help them win the war against the aliens. Despite the excellent Renaissance art style, this story is incredibly abstract and surreal. It’s an artistic tour de force. It’s no secret that I adore Leonardo Da Vinci. I’ve read many books about him, and have spent hours studying his artworks and sketches, so I immediately noticed that the artwork in the graphic novel isn’t just well-drawn, but primarily made up of reproductions of Leo’s actual sketches. The idea alone of using real artwork and sketches to create a graphic novel is highly original. But what makes this even more mind-blowing is the fact that these drawings aren’t edited images of Leo’s work, but fresh, hand-drawn pieces by Stéphane Levallois that perfectly replicate Leo’s style, and look near identical. It’s no wonder this novel took two years to create. I’m unbelievably impressed by this feat. I once believed that Da Vinci’s art could never be imitated, but my god, this is really something. I don’t normally enjoy black and white GNs, but once I realised what I was seeing, the style of the artwork was perfect. Leonardo’s sketches were never coloured, only shaded, so it made total sense to recreate the images in black and white also. That being said, there was the odd panel here and there that may have been over-detailed, and I couldn’t quite make out what the images were. But despite that, the art in the novel is unbelievably stunning. The dedication to accuracy and attention to detail speaks of such care and love of Da Vinci’s works. I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys not just Leonardo’s art, but his genius on whole. Big thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for sending me a digital copy to review.