In January of 1497, Fray Augustin Leyre, a Dominican Inquisitor and expert on the interpretation of secret messages, is sent to supervise Leonardo Da Vinci's last touches to "The Last Supper" painting. He was sent by Alejandro VI who had heard that Da Vinci was painting the twelve apostles without their halo of sanctity, that the chalice was ...
In January of 1497, Fray Augustin Leyre, a Dominican Inquisitor and expert on the interpretation of secret messages, is sent to supervise Leonardo Da Vinci's last touches to "The Last Supper" painting. He was sent by Alejandro VI who had heard that Da Vinci was painting the twelve apostles without their halo of sanctity, that the chalice was missing, and that Leonardo had painted himself in the painting with his back to Jesus. This could have sent him to the inquisition. Why then did he do this? Was Leonardo Da Vinci a heretic? Full of misleading facts and controversies, "The Secret Supper" reveals the truth behind Da Vinci's best-known Christian piece. After finishing this novel, you'll never see "The Last Supper" in the same way again.
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I bought this because I had read the authors latest book The Lost Angel, and wanted to read what else he had written. I got hooked on historical mysteries and such with The DaVinci Code and have been reading several other authors like Steve Berry and Raymond Khoury as well. Anyhow, this is a different look at the sort of DaVinci type of hidden message that might or might not actually exist in his works, wrapped around the Catholic church and it's workings at the time. It's a period piece, not set in current day. Not quite up to Dan Browns standard but enjoyable.
Jun 28, 2007
Better than Brown, but he's no Eco!
As the headline says, this is less "breathless" than Brown's Da Vinci Code but where it aims for the cerebral quality of The Name of the Rose, it falls far short. OK, I'm an historian and art historian, but to be frank, I solved the "mystery" merely by looking at the illustrations on the endpapers. If you know anything about the Cathars of Languedoc and anything about the courts of Renaissance princes, you will too. The characters aren't compelling and the plot is jumpy. It had potential, but did not realize it. I finished it because I was traveling and had little alternative. In my edition (paperback), there was a section devoted to an interview with the author, who seemed to me to be entirely too impressed with his own work.
May 10, 2007
another Jesus mystery
Not a bad mystery overall. I understand that it is the first book of a trilogy. Presents some very interesting perspectives on the story of Jesus from Mary Magdalene's view. The stories from Mary's view are sometimes quite intense. The modern day part of the mystery at times is a bit hard to follow. But all in all, a good read. Also, gives you thoughts to chew on for days.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-01-02 Set in the late 15th century, Sierra's first book translated into English revolves around a papal inquisitor's investigation into Leonardo da Vinci's alleged heresies and offers a new way of interpreting The Last Supper. After receiving a series of cryptic messages from "the Soothsayer," who warns the 15th century church that "art can be employed as a weapon," the Secretariat of Keys of the Papal States dispatches Father Agostino Leyre on a twofold mission to Milan: identify the Soothsayer and discover what, if any, messages da Vinci is hiding in the painting. Leyre, who narrates, views the in-progress Last Supper at the Santa Maria delle Grazie and becomes fascinated. He makes a series of sometimes muddled discoveries about the painting, leading up to his interpretation of the painting's true meaning (not revealed until the last line of the last page). Those not well versed in Catholic history may have trouble following the many subplots involving factionalism and dissent within the church. The combination of code breaking, secrecy, chicanery within the Catholic Church and a certain artist is by now a familiar one, but Sierra's book, already a bestseller in Europe, is a fresh contribution to the da Vinci industry. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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