Giacomo Casanova – Italian adventurer
There were a lot of adventurers in France of the XVIII century. Many magicians, alchemists, astrologers, soothsayers, sorcerers, healers appeared. Franz Mesmer, the discoverer of “animal magnetism”, had a great popularity. But Casanova was the most famous of them. He gained fame as a healer: he helped La Tour D’Auvergne to get rid of aches, removed acne from Duchess of Chartres’ beautiful skin, and managed to sell the Prince of Courland recipe for … gold! They say Casanova arranged sessions of clairvoyance for the Princess of Anhalt-Zerbst – brilliant Catherine II.
Like all the adventurers of the XVIII century, Casanova was a fine fencer and a good shooter, but his main weapon was the word. He was a well-read man, knew ancient, Italian, and French literature, and was a connoisseur of art and theater.
Giacomo Jacopo Girolamo Casanova de Seinglat, the first child of an actor and actress, was born in 1725 in Venice.
In 1743 he was expelled from the seminary and found refuge in Rome with Cardinal Acquaviva, the first of his many powerful protectors. Two years later he returned to Venice, where he practiced magic. In 1750 he joined the Free Masons in Lyons. Gambling, profiteering, and amorous activities marked his first stay in Paris (1750-1753).
Casanova wasn’t exactly a handsome guy. He had a long nose, beady eyes, and a slightly oversized forehead. However, Casanova, by his own accounts, managed to seduce over 120 women.
He travelled all over Europe, and met some of history’s most famous people (including Mozart and Catherine the Great of Russia). He escaped from prison, and was expelled from various European countries.
In 1749 – 1750 he met the great love of his life, Henrietta. She was forced to leave him and return to her family.
In 1757, he introduced the lottery to Paris and became a millionaire and two years later he lost all his money in a silk-printing business.
From 1774 to 1782 Casanova was a secret agent for the Republic of Venice.
In 1786 he became a librarian in the castle of Dux, Bohemia (now Czech Republic). There he wrote his celebrated History of My Life. In addition he wrote several treatises on mathematics, a three-volume refutation of Amelot de la Houssaye’s history of Venetian government (1769), a translation of the Iliad (1775), and a five-volume novel of fantastic adventure to the center of the earth, Icosameron (1788).
In 1787 Casanova met Mozart in Prague and attended the first performance of Don Giovanni.
The great lover died on June 4, 1798.
The legend of Casanova was created through the books that he wrote. His memoirs were first published in the late nineteenth century: and since then he has become a literary and cinematic icon.
– During his life Casanova was a church employee, lawyer, soldier, musician, referent, spy, writer and even a librarian.
– Giacomo always wanted to become a physician.
– Casanova was a gambler, winning and losing large sums of money.
– The researcher Spaniard Juancho Cruz said that Giacomo has 132 women, approximately three love affairs a year. Today it may seem a rather modest result. However, Casanova became famous for his art of seduction, flirtation, and the passion. Casanova loved the Italians. His mistresses, as a rule, were between 16 to 20 years old.