Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind

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9780143036128: Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind

In this engaging and thoroughly researched biography, Charles Nicholl uncovers the man behind the myth of the great Renaissance master. At times a painter, sculptor, inventor, draftsman, and anatomist, Leonardo’s life cannot easily be summarized. And yet, Nicholl skillfully traces the artist’s early days as an illegitimate child in Tuscany; his apprenticeship with Verrocchio in Florence; his service with some of the most powerful Renaissance families; his relationships with Michelangelo and Machiavelli; and his final days at the French royal court. In addition, Nicholl looks beyond the well-known stories of Leonardo’s famous masterpieces, and gives us a glimpse into the artist’s everyday life. We learn of Leonardo’s penchant for jokes, his fascination with flight, his obsessive note making, and even what he ate. Nicholl weaves these details together in a fascinating portrait that goes far towards revealing the enigmatic figure who continues to fascinate present-day readers.

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About the Author:

Charles Nicholl is the author of nine books of history, biography, and travel, including the highly regarded The Reckoning. He has presented two documentaries for British television and has lectured in Britain, Italy, and the United States.

From Publishers Weekly:

Nicholl aims for the man behind the myth in this penetrating, highly detailed biography, which recognizes da Vinci's "mysterious greatness as an artist, scientist and philosopher" but avoids hagiography (and nearly steers clear of the word "genius"). The illegitimate child of a Tuscan peasant girl and a local notary, da Vinci (1452–1519) was apprenticed as a teen to Florence sculptor Andrea del Verrocchio. Nicholl (Somebody Else: Arthur Rimbaud in Africa) conjectures convincingly about Leonardo's early career, though he tends to dwell overlong on technical aspects of Renaissance art production. Leonardo established a Florentine studio in 1477, but it was not until he moved to Milan five years later that he began to produce his iconic works: the painting Virgin of the Rocks, the famous Vitruvian Man drawing. Nicholl chronicles the production of The Last Supper and makes a firm statement about the Mona Lisa's identity. Numerous questions about Leonardo's life remain, unavoidably, unanswered, but Nicholl fills in the gaps with insight into the artist's cultural milieu, offering tidbits about Leonardo's sexuality, the sordid goings-on at the Borgia court and the multifarious fruits of the artist's astonishingly fertile curiosity and imagination. Nicholl's attention to da Vinci's polymathic pursuits, as well as his own translations from the artist's numerous notebooks, are some of this dense but readable volume's most compelling aspects. Illus.
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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this engaging and thoroughly researched biography, Charles Nicholl uncovers the man behind the myth of the great Renaissance master. At times a painter, sculptor, inventor, draftsman, and anatomist, Leonardo s life cannot easily be summarized. And yet, Nicholl skillfully traces the artist s early days as an illegitimate child in Tuscany; his apprenticeship with Verrocchio in Florence; his service with some of the most powerful Renaissance families; his relationships with Michelangelo and Machiavelli; and his final days at the French royal court. In addition, Nicholl looks beyond the well-known stories of Leonardo s famous masterpieces, and gives us a glimpse into the artist s everyday life. We learn of Leonardo s penchant for jokes, his fascination with flight, his obsessive note making, and even what he ate. Nicholl weaves these details together in a fascinating portrait that goes far towards revealing the enigmatic figure who continues to fascinate present-day readers. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143036128

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this engaging and thoroughly researched biography, Charles Nicholl uncovers the man behind the myth of the great Renaissance master. At times a painter, sculptor, inventor, draftsman, and anatomist, Leonardo s life cannot easily be summarized. And yet, Nicholl skillfully traces the artist s early days as an illegitimate child in Tuscany; his apprenticeship with Verrocchio in Florence; his service with some of the most powerful Renaissance families; his relationships with Michelangelo and Machiavelli; and his final days at the French royal court. In addition, Nicholl looks beyond the well-known stories of Leonardo s famous masterpieces, and gives us a glimpse into the artist s everyday life. We learn of Leonardo s penchant for jokes, his fascination with flight, his obsessive note making, and even what he ate. Nicholl weaves these details together in a fascinating portrait that goes far towards revealing the enigmatic figure who continues to fascinate present-day readers. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143036128

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