Leonardo da Vinci

Easton Press Leonardo da Vinci books

Leonardo: Artist Biography by Jack Wasserman - 1984
Paintings in the Louvre (contains art by Leonardo da Vinci) - 1987 
The Memory Cathedral: A Secret History of Leonardo Da Vinci - Signed First Edition of Science Fiction by Jack Dann - 1995
The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci by Dmitry Sergeyevich Merezhkovsky - 1998
Renaissance Painting (contains art by Leonardo da Vinci) - 2000
Leonardo's Notebooks - 2005
Discovering Leonardo; The Art Lover's Guide to Understand Leonardo da Vinci's Masterpieces by Rebecca Tucker and Paul Crenshaw - 2011

Franklin Library Leonardo da Vinci books

The Selected Writings of Sir Francis Bacon (contains drawings by Leonardo da Vinci) - Great Books of The Western World - 1980

Who was Leonardo da Vinci?

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was a Renaissance painter, sculptor, scientist, engineer, and architect who was born in a Tuscan mountain town named Vinci. His father was a successful Florentine notary, and his mother was a peasant. His last name "da Vinci" simply means of the town of Vinci. He was raised by his mother until the age of 5 when he moved to his father' home in Vinci. At some point in his teenage years, the family moved to Florence where Leonardo da Vinci was educated by the painter Andrea del Verrocchio. He joined the painters guild of Florentine in 1472 while still serving as Andrea del Verrocchio's assistant. The two collaborated on a number of works including Verrocchio's Baptism of Christ where Leonardo da Vinci painted an angel in the painting.

By 1478 Leonardo da Vinci began working as an independent artist, and was commissioned to paint the altarpiece at Palazzo Vecchio, but never actually began the project. Two years later he began, but never completed three projects including the Adoration of the Kings, St. Jerome in the Wilderness, and Benois Madonna. Following these projects Leonardo da Vinci moved to Milan where he was commissioned to paint the Virgin of The Rocks for the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception. It was at this time that he began his engineering projects including the Martesena Canal. This was followed by numerous architectural endeavors including the Cathedral of Milan. It was also during the 1480's that he became master of the Milanese Academy, and worked with mathematician Luca Pacioli.

Around 1494, Leonardo da Vinci began work on The Last Supper which is considered one of his greatest masterpieces. Unfortunately his use of oil paints on plaster resulted in a painting that deteriorated quickly. As a result the many reproductions of The Last Supper probably do not capture the true beauty of The last Supper in the original state. In this extraordinary painting, Leonardo da Vinci portrays the last supper Jesus shared with the disciples. During the later part of this decade he began a large bronze equestrian monument to Francesco Storza which was left unfinished after the French entered Milan in 1499.

Following the French invasion of Milan he returned to Florence where he worked as an engineer on numerous projects. It was during this time that Leonardo da Vinci served on the commission that decided a location for Michelangelo's David, and began a competition with Michelangelo over the painting of the Palazzo Vecchio. It was following this that he began painting a number of works including his famous Mona Lisa which is the only surviving painting of Leonardo da Vinci from this period. It took him 4 years to paint the Mona Lisa and it was never fully completed. The subject is said to be Lisa the third wife of Francesco del Giocondo, however many have questioned this and even claimed it to be a self portrait. Today Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is the most recognized painting around the world.

Following this period in Florence, Leonardo da Vinci returned to Milan where he was named court painter to King Louis XII. Over the years that followed he traveled extensively between Milan and Florence and to Rome in 1513. In 1516 he traveled to France where he remained until his death in 1519.

Along with his many paintings, Leonardo da Vinci drew many scientific, engineering, and architectural drawings. Among the more famous are The Vitruvian Man, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist, The Rhombicuboctahedron, A design for a flying machine, A design for a helicopter, and his self portrait in red chalk. The journals of Leonardo da Vinci (also referred to as Leonardo's notebooks) also contained many other drawings and sketches. Of these journals the most famous is The Codex Leicester which is today owned by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. His famous study and drawings of anatomy are the result of his lessons from Verrocchio.

As a genius, Leonardo da Vinci was perhaps more diversified than anyone in history. He showed extraordinary talent in art, science, engineering, medicine, architecture, sculpture, mathematics, and numerous other subjects.

The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci

At Siena was discovered another statue of Venus, to the huge joy of the inhabitants. A great concourse, with much feasting and honour, set it up over the fountain called "Il Fonte Gaja," as an adornment.... 'But great tribulation having come upon the land by reason of the Florentines, there arose one of the council, a citizen, and spake in this wise: "Fellow-citizens, since the finding of this figure we have had much evil hap, and if we consider how strictly idolatry is prohibited by our faith, what shall we think but that God hath sent us this adversity by reason of sin? I advise that we remove this image from the public square of the city, deface it, break it in pieces, and send it to be buried in the territory of the Florentines." 'All agreeing with this opinion, they confirmed it by a decree; and the thing was put into execution, and the statue was buried within our confines.


Discovering Leonardo - The Art Lover's Guide to Understanding Da Vinci's Masterpieces

This fine art book with a design twist identifies, decodes, and explains symbols hidden in Leonardo da Vinci’s works, using die-cut windows to enhance the experience of truly appreciating each masterpiece. Discover the secret symbols and meanings behind seventy-five featured drawings and paintings in this unique volume celebrating Leonardo da Vinci. This book’s innovative design pairs each painting with a page of die-cut windows that help the reader focus on specific aspects of each piece of art, and it features captions that highlight the most important symbols. Also included are carefully selected comparative works from da Vinci’s contemporaries to offer contextual perspective.
Learn the secrets behind such famous paintings as Mona Lisa and The Last Supper , as well as Adoration of the Magi , The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne , and many more. Each work featured in Discovering The Art Lover’s Guide to Understanding Da Vinci’s Masterpieces tells a story that becomes more fascinating as layer upon layer of symbolic meaning is revealed.

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