LEONARDO DA VINCI

by Walter Isaacson

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1 positive comments

3 neutral comments

1 negative comments

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  • Wisdom is the daughter of experience. Leonardo da Vinci https://t.co/WqTTIEEYXF
  • This book Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson is amazing! Shows where mans curiosity can lead man to surreal experiences and living.
  • Leonardo da Vinci - Sketch Art and Study Illustrations - 40 Trading Cards Book – Available Now: https://t.co/ijES9MEtmu via @etsy
  • I read Big debt Crises by Ray Dalio, a bit of Bob Woodward’s ‘fear’ [won’t count it]. Currently reading Leonardo D… https://t.co/NKMZy9mAIF
  • @bobarmsnovelist @BCDreyer You’ve hit the nail on the head. Dan Brown was too ignorant to know that Da Vinci wasn’t… https://t.co/12vWEkWt51
  • 7 positive comments

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    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • I recall Joshua Cohen’s opening sentence of his novel The Book of Numbers: “If you’re reading this on a screen [redacted!] off. I’ll only talk if I’m gripped with both hands.” Walter Isaacson’s latest book Leonardo da Vinci cries out for that tactile experience. I’ve collected books for twenty years – from the 15th Century to the Present – and this biography is perhaps the most finely crafted, and most beautifully illustrated, book – I’ve seen in many years (The most recent contemporary corollary is Giulio Tononi’s “Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul”). I’m willing to delay my judgment of the writing quality given that I’ve read the inestimable “Einstein” by the same author. In sum: Buy It, Read It, Enjoy It. This is a rare gift.
    • Walter Isaacson does a wonderful job portraying the life of Leonardo da Vinci. The text goes more or kess in chronological order and is, in my opinion, the best biography of Leonardo out there. Bramly's biography comes close but is clearly out of date (not mentioning recent attributions). Isaacson clearly knows the historiography. He repeatedly cites scholars like Martin Kemp in telling the stories of recent attributions (Salvator Mundi, La Bella Principessa). Isaacson is also familiar with the work of Toby Lester (Vitruvian Man, Francesco di Giorgio). In terms of history, Isaacson has a clear general grasp of the great men who influenced Leonardo (such as Alberti). Leonardo's various interests, skills, shortcomings, and curiosity are explored in great detail. Additionally, the book is well-illustrated and includes numerous images from his notebooks, his paintings, and key locations. Finally, Leonardo da Vinci has a current biography aimed at a popular audience written by perhaps the greatest biographer of the early-twentieth century. I highly recommend this text.
    • Magnificent Biography of one of the worlds great innovators. This book is massive, not only in length but in depth. Isaacson's biographical narrative is seamlessly interwoven with analysis and context of the work of da Vinci. The book itself is beautifully printed on high quality paper with numerous well rendered illustrations abundantly presented. In presenting da Vinci's personal thoughts and events of his life, Isaacson identifies sources supported by plenty of end notes and citations. You really see the scope of research and care that went into completing what will easily become the biography of record of the great master. Having read previous da Vinci biographies I contend that one of this versions strengths is its interpretation of da Vinci's relationship to the artists, scientists and philosophers of not just his contemporaries, but of his continued influence on those disciplines throughout human history and contemporary thought. Really quite an accomplishment. The downside of reading about da Vinci is how it can make you feel a great personal loss for time wasted on meaningless pursuits.
    • In one sense, this is an incredibly enjoyable biography that sheds light on the varied achievements and adventures of history's most dynamic creative genius.In another sense, it is among the most frustrating books I have ever read.This frustration stems from a telling fact about the book: out of 33 chapters, one is devoted to Da Vinci's personal life. Perhaps I'm in the great minority that opened this book hoping for a vivid portrait of not only the great artist's works, but also his personality. This was certainly my experience with Isaacson's other biographies. In the little details about Ben Franklin's strange hijinks when sharing an Inn room with John Adams, or elderly Einstein helping children with their math homework, one can begin to form an understanding of how such iconic geniuses actually operated in day to day life.But after more than 500 fascinating pages about Leonardo's paintings, journals, and drawings, the man himself remains as mysterious as ever. Perhaps this was no fault of Walter Isaacson's, and there is simply not enough evidence left behind to put together a detailed portrait of Da Vinci's personal life. However, this doesn't seem to be the case, as he occasionally provides tantalizing fragments from letters and journal entries such as:"The Medici made me and ruined me.""Tell me was anything ever done...tell me....tell me."Isaacson gives such fragments just a couple of sentences of consideration. Throughout the book, personal letters are referred to and quoted, but never in much detail or in the context of other clues about Da Vinci's personality. To be clear, I loved learning more about the paintings and journals. They are among the most fascinating documents ever produced by mankind. But in voluminous biographies, especially those of Isaacson, I've come to hope for more than analysis of well-known achievements. I feel as if the cover itself perhaps misled me. After reading this book, I'm well educated on all the grace and beauty of the man's works, but still entirely ignorant about the pattern of his soul.
    • On this Thanksgiving Day 2017 I am grateful that I am able to sit down quietly and read Isaacson's biography of a man who died almost exactly 500 years ago. A man whose story describes the turning point in history , the Renaissance, when the unknown craftsman became the artist of the posterity, a common man could be come a celebrity, whose personality would itself become subject of admiration and study for the ages. As Walter Isaacson noted about Einstein, the lives of such personalities are now more relevant than ever - they lived life on their own terms, depending not on community or tradition for their achievements, their own inventions their own creations their only reward. And so it is for every man, woman alive today - we have Google, Amazon, and (yuck) Facebook - and can get all the information we want, buy anything we need to satisfy our dreams and follow where our curiousity and imagination will lead us ; 'Stay hungry, stay foolish' as Steve Jobs would say. We are no longer bound by custom and tradition, but as Steve Jobs again reminded young Stanford grads 'You are all going to die soon' Death is greatest change agent of life ' and we must define ourselves in the time we have by what we do, what we create, what we leave behind. There is no instruction book, unfortunately, on how to be unique, how to be creative, how to find and keep your identity in a world where everyone can be a prophet on the Internet, everyone a genius, everyone a madman. We can only give thanks that we have such marvelous examples provided to us - by one of the greatest biographers (along with David McCullough) of all time. Happy Thanksgiving!