Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci

Book - 2017
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The #1 New York Times Bestseller

"A powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life...a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it."-- The New Yorker

"Vigorous, insightful."-- The Washington Post

"A masterpiece."-- San Francisco Chronicle

"Luminous."-- The Daily Beast

He was history's most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us?

The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs , Einstein , and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography.

Based 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.

He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa . But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man , made him history's most creative genius.

His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from having wide-ranging passions. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history's most memorable smile. 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.

Leonardo's delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. 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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Simon & Schuster, 2017.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781501139154
Characteristics: xii, 599 pages :,illustrations (chiefly colour) ;,25 cm.


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Jan 11, 2018

An amazing, well written and researched biography. I expected a daunting book of facts and details. Although the reader is certainly given details, they are presented with the same curiosity and observation that worked so well for Da Vinci. He was responsible for the early conception of things that were later invented. There were many unfinished works perhaps due to his depending less on the money earned than the seeking of his quest for the universal measure of man and how he fits into the cosmos.
Isaacson put together Da Vinci's life and work with pictures, descriptions, and feeling. The reader leaves with a true sense of what his life was all about.

Jan 10, 2018

At last an author on an artist who actually includes the PICTURES he is discussing. Cannot be thanked enough. You not only learn about Da Vinci you get to obtain an appreciation of art. Awesome!

Nov 07, 2017

Magnificant bio on one of the world's true geniuses. I wondered how the author could document someone from 500 years ago. He does so not in a precise accounting of all of Leonardo's days but in showing how his mind operated. There you learn of the man, not just the when and where of his life. My favorite book of 2017!

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