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Leonardo da Vinci (Penguin Lives)
ISBN 0670893919 / 9780670893911 / 0-670-89391-9
Publisher Viking Adult
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A distinguished chronicler of the human body and spirit interprets a Renaissance genius
The enigma of the Mona Lisa's smile is not less than the enigma of her creator's life force."In Leonardo da Vinci, Sherwin Nuland (whose own work Time has called "awe-inspiring") completes his twenty-year quest to understand an unlettered man who was painter, architect, engineer, philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. What was it that propelled Leonardo's insatiable curiosity? How could he be, in the same moment, as naive as a child and as profound as a sage?
Nuland finds clues in his subject's art, relationships, and scientific studies--as well as in the manuscripts spotlighted by their sale at auction to Bill Gates. Nuland detects the siren voice that lured the great artist so often into the arms of science--his fascination with anatomy, first as the basis for his paintings and then as the crucial component in his aim to systematize all knowledge of nature. Scholarly and passionate, Nuland's Leonardo da Vinci takes us deep into the first truly modern, empirical mind, one that was centuries ahead of its time. [via]