"He was history's most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us? The [bestselling biographer] brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography. Drawing on thousands of pages from Leonardo's astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo's genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy. His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from standing at the intersection of the humanities and technology. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history's most memorable smile on the Mona Lisa. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo's lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions. His ability to combine art and science, made iconic by his drawing of what may be himself inside a circle and a square, remains the enduring recipe for innovation. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it; to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different."--Jacket.
This fascinating book will be of as much interest to engineers as to art historians, examining as it does the evolution of machine design methodology from the Renaissance to the Age of Machines in the 19th century. It provides detailed analysis, comparing design concepts of engineers of the 15th century Renaissance and the 19th century age of machines from a workshop tradition to the rational scientific discipline used today.
This selection offers a cross-section from the 6,000 surviving sheets that constitute Leonardo's notebooks, including his thoughts on landscape, optics, anatomy, architecture, sculpture, and painting. Fully updated, this new edition includes some 70 line drawings and a Preface by Leonardo expert Martin Kemp.
Everybody knows that Leonardo da Vinci was an artist - that he was the mastermind behind the infamous Mona Lisa and designed the first-ever flying machine. But did you also know that da Vinci: - spent a decade making a clay horse? - had his very own pet dragon? - loved to wear pink? Full of rivalries between artists, incredible inventions and passages from Leonardo's lost notebook, discover everything you ever wanted to know about the man with the paintbrush!
Leonardo da Vinci was a prominent artist and a scholar of the Italian Renaissance, famous for his immortal works: ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘Mona Lisa’. Leonardo was a genius. He was diversely talented as a painter, sculptor, architect, scientist, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, astronomer, cartographer, botanist, historian and writer. Leonardo was very talented. He attained proficiency as an artist to the extent that his teacher left painting after he saw one of his finished works. This book throws light on the artistry of an art icon Leonardo da Vinci who still remains an inspiration to all budding artists.
Leonardo da Vinci personified the Renaissance, the extraordinary age in which he lived. Best known as one of the world’s greatest painters, he sketched the foundations for inventions that would not come to fruition for centuries. Born a bastard in a hillside village in northern Italy, Leonardo became the protégé of princes, popes, and kings. He mastered so many branches of science that scholars still debate whether he was greater as an anatomist, botanist, cartographer, engineer, geographer, or naturalist. Nevertheless, he died unhappy, believing he had failed to work the miracles of which he had dreamed. Here is his extraordinary story.
Young readers may have seen reproductions of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and even some of his inventions, but there was much more to his genius. Leonardo was also a scientist and a sculptor. He loved the outdoors. This biography allows young readers to get to know Leonardo from his youth in the Italian countryside and then witness how his work as an adult won over noblemen and royalty who paid him for his art. Readers will be introduced to some of Leonardo's most famous and influential work and discover how it continues to influence today's art and science.
Vasari says, and rightly, in his Life of Leonardo, "that he laboured much more by his word than in fact or by deed", and the biographer evidently had in his mind the numerous works in Manuscript which have been preserved to this day. To us, now, it seems almost inexplicable that these valuable and interesting original texts should have remained so long unpublished, and indeed forgotten. It is certain that during the XVIth and XVIIth centuries their exceptional value was highly appreciated. This is proved not merely by the prices which they commanded, but also by the exceptional interest which has been attached to the change of ownership of merely a few pages of Manuscript. That, notwithstanding this eagerness to possess the Manuscripts, their contents remained a mystery, can only be accounted for by the many and great difficulties attending the task of deciphering them. The handwriting is so peculiar that it requires considerable practice to read even a few detached phrases, much more to solve with any certainty the numerous difficulties of alternative readings, and to master the sense as a connected whole. Vasari observes with reference to Leonardos writing: "he wrote backwards, in rude characters, and with the left hand, so that any one who is not practised in reading them, cannot understand them". The aid of a mirror in reading reversed handwriting appears to me available only for a first experimental reading. Speaking from my own experience, the persistent use of it is too fatiguing and inconvenient to be practically advisable, considering the enormous mass of Manuscripts to be deciphered. And as, after all, Leonardo's handwriting runs backwards just as all Oriental character runs backwards—that is to say from right to left—the difficulty of reading direct from the writing is not insuperable. This obvious peculiarity in the writing is not, however, by any means the only obstacle in the way of mastering the text. Leonardo made use of an orthography peculiar to himself; he had a fashion of amalgamating several short words into one long one, or, again, he would quite arbitrarily divide a long word into two separate halves; added to this there is no punctuation whatever to regulate the division and construction of the sentences, nor are there any accents—and the reader may imagine that such difficulties were almost sufficient to make the task seem a desperate one to a beginner. It is therefore not surprising that the good intentions of some of Leonardo s most reverent admirers should have failed. Leonardo's literary labours in various departments both of Art and of Science were those essentially of an enquirer, hence the analytical method is that which he employs in arguing out his investigations and dissertations. The vast structure of his scientific theories is consequently built up of numerous separate researches, and it is much to be lamented that he should never have collated and arranged them. His love for detailed research—as it seems to me—was the reason that in almost all the Manuscripts, the different paragraphs appear to us to be in utter confusion; on one and the same page, observations on the most dissimilar subjects follow each other without any connection. A page, for instance, will begin with some principles of astronomy, or the motion of the earth; then come the laws of sound, and finally some precepts as to colour. Another page will begin with his investigations on the structure of the intestines, and end with philosophical remarks as to the relations of poetry to painting; and so forth.Leonardo himself lamented this confusion, and for that reason I do not think that the publication of the texts in the order in which they occur in the originals would at all fulfil his intentions. No reader could find his way through such a labyrinth; Leonardo himself could not have done it.
Born in 1452, Leonardo da Vinci is still, today, considered one of the most talent people to have ever lived. From his world famous paintings and drawings, such as the Mona Lisa and the Vitruvian Man, to his ingenious inventions of the parachute, the helicopter, and the military tank, da Vince was always a step ahead of his time. Discover the origins of a man who refused to be defined by just one vocation. Whether science and engineering or architecture and art, Leonardo da Vinci was the ultimate Renaissance Man.
The marriage of art and science is celebrated in this beautifully illustrated four-color biography and activity book. Kids will begin to understand the important discoveries that da Vinci made through inspiring activities like determining the launch angle of a catapult, sketching birds and other animals, creating a map, learning to look at a painting, and much more. Includes a glossary, bibliography, listing of pertinent museums and Web sites, a timeline, and many interesting sidebars.
Leonardo’s early life was spent in Florence, his maturity in Milan, and the last three years of his life in France. Leonardo’s teacher was Verrocchio. First he was a goldsmith, then a painter and sculptor: as a painter, representative of the very scientific school of draughtsmanship; more famous as a sculptor, being the creator of the Colleoni statue at Venice, Leonardo was a man of striking physical attractiveness, great charm of manner and conversation, and mental accomplishment. He was well grounded in the sciences and mathematics of the day, as well as a gifted musician. His skill in draughtsmanship was extraordinary; shown by his numerous drawings as well as by his comparatively few paintings. His skill of hand is at the service of most minute observation and analytical research into the character and structure of form. Leonardo is the first in date of the great men who had the desire to create in a picture a kind of mystic unity brought about by the fusion of matter and spirit. Now that the Primitives had concluded their experiments, ceaselessly pursued during two centuries, by the conquest of the methods of painting, he was able to pronounce the words which served as a password to all later artists worthy of the name: painting is a spiritual thing, cosa mentale. He completed Florentine draughtsmanship in applying to modelling by light and shade, a sharp subtlety which his predecessors had used only to give greater precision to their contours. This marvellous draughtsmanship, this modelling and chiaroscuro he used not solely to paint the exterior appearance of the body but, as no one before him had done, to cast over it a reflection of the mystery of the inner life. In the Mona Lisa and his other masterpieces he even used landscape not merely as a more or less picturesque decoration, but as a sort of echo of that interior life and an element of a perfect harmony. Relying on the still quite novel laws of perspective this doctor of scholastic wisdom, who was at the same time an initiator of modern thought, substituted for the discursive manner of the Primitives the principle of concentration which is the basis of classical art. The picture is no longer presented to us as an almost fortuitous aggregate of details and episodes. It is an organism in which all the elements, lines and colours, shadows and lights, compose a subtle tracery converging on a spiritual, a sensuous centre. It was not with the external significance of objects, but with their inward and spiritual significance, that Leonardo was occupied.
Leonardo is the greatest, most multi-faceted and most mysterious of all Renaissance artists, but extraordinarily, considering his enormous reputation, this is the first full-length biography in English for several decades. Prize-winning author Charles Nicholl has immersed himself for five years in all the manuscripts, paintings and artefacts to produce an 'intimate portrait' of Leonardo. He uses these contemporary materials - his notebooks and sketchbooks, eye witnesses and early biographies, etc - as a way into the mental tone and physical texture of his life and has made myriad small discoveries about him and his work and his circle of associates. Among much else, the book identifies what Nicholl argues is an unknown portrait of the artist hanging in a church near Lodi in northern Italy. It also contains new material on his eccentric assistant Tomasso Masini, on his homosexual affairs in Florence, and on his curious relationship with a female model and/or prostitute from Cremona. A masterpiece of modern biography.
Volume 1 of 2-volume set. Total of 1,566 extracts includes writings on painting, sculpture, architecture, anatomy, mining, inventions, and music. Dual Italian-English texts, with 186 plates plus over 500 additional drawings.
Painter, architect, scientist, inventor—Leonardo da Vinci ranks as history's consummate innovator. Consumed with a boundless desire for knowledge, he investigated technical challenges that were hundreds of years ahead of his time. The power of flight was a particular source of fascination for him, and his close studies of bird anatomy and movement informed his development of the ornithopter — a winged, human-powered aircraft. With Leonardo's da Vinci's Flying Machine, you can create a fully working model of the inventor's amazing creation. This self-contained model kit features a 48-page book with details from Leonardo's notebooks plus full-color, easily joined components. Once assembled, the wings flap by turning a crank. Like the prototype, your model won't actually fly, but you'll have an amazing replica of one of the Renaissance genius's most famous futuristic inventions.
Master of art, science, philosophy, architecture and much more, Leonardo da Vinci was the definition of a Renaissance Man. While many of his works were left unfinished or have badly deteriorated, his drawings and words preserve his genius and remain a critical resource for artists today. Delve into one of history's greatest minds to be guided and inspired by his works and wisdom in The Leonardo da Vinci Sketchbook. From anatomical studies to tonal compositions, master essential techniques, principles and subjects. Pour over the most compelling details of Leonardo's work and follow the guidance within to become a master artist.