On Leonardo da Vinci's Cenacle
Autographed annotations by Stendhal. As emerges from his journal, Stendhal purchased the volume on the 19 September, 1811, eight days after his first visit to Leonardo's Last Supper, during an approximately two week trip to Milan. However, two dates inscribed on the front doublure of the binding and on the front flyleaf, respectively 19 November 1814 and 12 October 1816, would seem to indicate a delayed and prolonged reading. The French writer, at the time engaged in the preparation of a Histoire de la peinture en Italie, countering that of Luigi Lanzi, which would be published in 1817, filled the original in his possession with numerous footnotes (on pp. 117, 118, 119, 122, 135, 146, 13, 164, 231, 232). These were substantially neutral at first, indicating a disimpassioned reading, despite the controversy that accompanied the release of Bossi’s book, then they became gradually more and more impatient and finally castigatory. For example: The author is entirely talentless, boredom and grand yawns.