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.
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‘A masterpiece of imaginative reconstruction’ -- Richard Holmes, Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year
‘A splendid and encompassing biography’ -- Peter Ackroyd, The Times
‘Charles Nicholl, in this bright, cunning, intrepidly intelligent biographical study, has startlingly demystified his enigmatic subject’ -- Peter Conrad, Observer
‘Gripping, beguiling … brings a genius down from his lonely pedestal and into the world’ -- Daily Telegraph
‘Leonardo da Vinci isn’t merely a lovely book, it’s Leonardesque … At its best, it glows’ -- David Gelernter, The New York Times
Charles Nicholl's previous publications include The Reckoning: The Murder of Christopher Marlowe (winner of the James Tait Black Prize for Biography), Somebody Else: Arthur Rimbaud in Africa (Winner of the Hawthornden Prize), The Fruit Palace and The Creature in the Map.
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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 211 x 135 mm. 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