Cesare Borgia and Cantarella


To those who don’t know, Cesare Borgia was the oldest son of Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei and was part of the Borgia family, one of the most powerful families in Italy during the Renaissance, a period that was epitomized by depravity, murder and the sponsorship of the greatest renaissance artists and artwork of all times. Cesare Borgas was the most notorious Borgia, handsome, charming and ruthless accused of murdering his own brother Giovanni, assassinated his officers (which impressed Machiavelli so much that he based the Prince on Cesare), murdered his sister’s second husband and fathered eleven illegitimate children, all before the age of thirty three.

<_____Looks a bit like a rockstar would today.

Above on the left hand side is a picture of Cesare Borgia by Gianfrancesco Bembo.


Now, why am I talking about the Prince again? Because I just discovered a manga that deals with Cesare Borgas. Called Cantarella, it is a book by You Higuri. that talks of Cesare’s father trading Cesare’s soul for his success to the Devil. Thus, Cesare is portrayed as a sympathetic character who is hurt by his father’s rejection of him and is protected by evil spirits. He is taunted by his step brother Juan and loves his sister Lucretia with a love that is more than brotherly. I might buy one of these books soon though I really doubt whether its historically accurate. For more information on the manga , go here

UPDATE: So, it seems there is a triangle between Chiaro (an assasin sent to kill him), Lucretia and Cesare. Ahem, definitely not historically accurate.





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4 responses to “Cesare Borgia and Cantarella

  1. kagehime

    You know there is a manga actually called Cesare?
    A young man that is unprepared for life as a student in a university in Renaissance Italy. He encounters charismatic Cesare who draws him to the darker side of the Renaissance? Interesting huh? It’s by Souryo Fuyumi. I wonder which one came first. And this guy had to be really Charismatic. I mean he was even painted as Jesus right?

  2. nyx

    This man was the devil incarnate but so charming that he was painted as Jesus (and influenced all Jesus pictures0 even though he was a debauchee of the worst sort. He’s fascinating though many people find his sister Lucretia much more fascinating, especially historians. Frankly, he reminds me of Che Gueverra – I mean how many young yuppies know about his ahem less than savory actions but he has now become a fashion statement.

    Its interesting to hear about Cesare. I hope its more accurate than Cantarella historically, of course.

  3. nyx

    now that I think about it, I might have supported him in his quest for power in Italy if he so needed my support and I actually existed three centuries ago. I would be interested to know how far he could go with style.

  4. María

    I have red the manga, and what can I say… it’s not historically accurate at all, but if you ask me it was still worth reading the whole 11 volumes. The drawings are awesome, the story (despite being inaccurate) is still interesting and emotive, and you come to love Cesare as portrayed by Yuu Higuri. 🙂

    I so recommend it! And if you’re interested in Higuri’s work, you can also read Ludwig II (about the historical Bavarian king), that one is pretty good too.

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