Biography Leonardo Da Vinci Book


Thursday, November 14, 2019 Leonardo da Vinci (): Walter Isaacson: Books. on orders over $25—or get FREE Two-Day Shipping with Amazon Prime. Leonardo da Vinci book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein. These are the 5 best books on the artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci: Da Vinci's Ghost: The untold story of Vitruvian Man by Toby Lester.

Leonardo Da Vinci Book

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His death was five centuries ago, but the artist, scientist and inventor still fascinates. Jonathan Jones recommends the best books to come to. Leonardo da Vinci: The Biography by Walter Isaacson review – unparalleled The subjects of his previous books – Albert Einstein, Benjamin. Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson - The #1 New York Times bestseller from Walter Isaacson brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography.

There is also an important element of mystery which is embedded in the picture, that is to say the ultimate unknowingness of the beloved woman.

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We, then, as viewers, fill it in. So, there is a genuine element of mystery which he has contrived. The fact that the Mona Lisa in some ways was the product of an unspectacular, almost mundane middle class Renaissance milieu, makes the cultural phenomenon of the painting that much more remarkable. This relatively humble soil was able to give root to this extraordinary flower. In reading the book, I found myself thinking that you could say something similar about Leonardo himself.

Leonardo da Vinci

The portrait is extraordinary because, at that time particularly, portraits were portraits. They were of interest inherently because of the value, status or public profile of the person who is being portrayed. So, to have this sort of painting of a bourgeois woman and for it to become famous almost immediately is extraordinary.

One is a fairly obvious one in that he really set in train — not wholly individually but he gave a great impetus to — the standard Florentine poetic genre of the beloved lady. In his work, Beatrice is never really somebody he knows that well but she is idealised and sublimated into this extraordinary object of rarefied desire.

He set in motion a tradition that goes through Petrarch and beyond, and one that was still thriving in the Leonardo courts.

So, that Dantesque figure of the beloved lady goes into a Leonardo portrait and then is extracted — as it were — by the poets who were writing about Leonardo.

The other aspect to it is that Dante is the supreme poet-natural philosopher. The Paradiso is about light.

And also about the act of seeing. Natural philosophy as a precursor to what we would regard as hard science….

That leads quite naturally to a discussion of E. Gombrich was kind of mentor of mine; I never studied with him but he was always immensely encouraging. That was very important. For Gombrich, Leonardo was the historical embodiment of that process. He was somebody who had this amazing stock of schemas inherited from the art which he knew but an extraordinary ability to work with the grit of observation and the imagination to see that the old wisdom needed challenging, both on grounds of empirical testing but also on grounds of theoretical constructions.

When Gombrich gets into a difficult area of argument, then the Leonardo light cavalry come racing over the hill towards the enemy to win the argument.

Get the weekly Five Books newsletter. Importantly for me, Gombrich also gave a sanction for looking at non-art as being as profound as high art in terms of its potential analysis. That sounds trivial but he makes a lot of it. If we consider the way that the framework is deployed to make sense of and accentuate the aesthetic qualities of our experienced environment, some would argue that this is what sets Leonardo apart from a long lineage of extremely talented and extremely visionary artists.

I think he tries to embed in painting all the knowledge — this extraordinary wide ranging encyclopaedic knowledge which he gleans. He wants painting to be a recreation of the visual world on the basis of this encyclopaedic understanding.

One of the difficulties he had with finishing paintings, is that the ultimate ambition to make the painting into a universal picture, to carry all this immense baggage of knowledge and fantasy, is in a way unrealisable. I would pull in here the drawings as well as the paintings. No one used drawing in as many ways to explore the nature and the structure of the world, including the things we have come to take for granted like solid sections and exploded diagrams — where you pull something apart to see how it joins up.

Very unusually for his time, he is interested particularly in the science not just of what we see but of why something looks the way that it does in terms of our acts of seeing. Why these two compendia specifically, when the Leonardo scholarship is so vast? I always emphasise primary sources. If you teach Leonardo, you are faced with this enormous amount of material.

So, what do you do?

The answer, for me, is go to the primary sources as your first port of call: Obviously, you need to have an interpretive framework. What has tended to be missing, at least when I did my first synoptic book on Leonardo, was a synthetic gathering together of all these things. And how far is it common across all this enormous range of diverse pursuits? Are there particular segments or chapters or letters that provide a unique insight or summary understanding of who Leonardo was and what made him tick?

This is a draft letter, it presumably went in a fairer copy to Ludovico, but he details all the military things he can do.

He can build bridges for crossing moats and he can dig tunnels and he can construct weapons the sort of which are outside the common usage, as he puts it.

It gives an idea of this slightly crazy ambition that he has. At the end, he says by the way, also in sculpture and painting, I can do things as well as anyone else can and will be happy to do the equestrian memorial — the rider on the horse — for your father which I happen to know you want doing.

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This was a set piece debate he indulged in at the court of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. It was a kind of courtly knockabout dispute between poets, musicians, sculptors, painters, and writers more generally. I also now look at art in a totally different way. Date published: Rated 5 out of 5 by Linda from Impressive details!

Very interesting and definitely depicts how creative da Vinci was! Great book for anyone who is a fan of the Renaissance and of art! Date published: Rated 5 out of 5 by LindaM from art is exquisite my son is an artist currently studying at an art university so i thought to buy this for him for Christmas.

He was really impressed. Ofcourse he is familiar with Leonardo Da Vinci's work having studied them but found this book in line with what he already knew but still kept an open mind and was pleased with how it was written historically factual Date published: Rated 1 out of 5 by Dibs from Not What I Wanted! I picked this book while en route to my holidays. I was a little disappointed - there could have been a lot of ways the style of writing could have been improved.

Date published: Rated 2 out of 5 by Daniel from Ok Could be better written and more fact-sourced knowledge as opposed to opinionated paragraphs. Date published: Rated 5 out of 5 by MMmm from Beautiful I love just how much detail there is in regards to his life.

I had read another book about LDV and it wasn't as detailed. This book was fantastic. His companion of many years — servant, pupil and the subject of many drawings — was the rascally Salai, who came to him at the age of At some point they probably became lovers.

Later, in his mids, Leonardo adopted another young man, Francesco Melzi, whom he loved as a son. Not surprisingly, his depictions of men are more erotic than those of women.

His lack of desire for women is perhaps what makes his paintings of them so tender and attentive: Some of his men look feminine, too.

The angel in Virgin of the Rocks — intended to be Gabriel or Uriel — is often mistaken for a woman. A later drawing of an angel, either by Leonardo or by someone in his studio, showed a figure with breasts and an erect penis.

Androgyny appealed to him. The rise of Michelangelo odd years his junior may have been a factor in his preference for Milan: It was a bigger city than Florence and was well stocked with intellectuals and scientists less so with artists. Later he moved to Rome and later still, leaving Italy for the first time, to France. But it was Milan that encouraged the odd mixture of the practical and the fantastical that went into his inventions — his schemes for flying machines, giant crossbows, scythed chariots, needle grinders, screw jacks and so on.In an age of specialisation, I find myself to be an outlier.

But it was Milan that encouraged the odd mixture of the practical and the fantastical that went into his inventions — his schemes for flying machines, giant crossbows, scythed chariots, needle grinders, screw jacks and so on.

While in Milan, Leonardo was also working on the famous bronze horse that was going to be three times bigger than any sculpture existing at the time. An American Life , and Kissinger [? Visualize it like this.