Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci : Flights of the Mind

4.02 (1,079 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


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."
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 623 pages
  • 134.62 x 210.82 x 30.48mm | 539.99g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • The Penguin Press
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • w. iil. , 30 col. plates.
  • 0143036122
  • 9780143036128
  • 225,415

Review quote

..".Witty, penetrating and fetchingly romantic.... Charles Nicholl's Leonardo Da Vinci isn't merely a lovely book, it's Leonardoesque. Leonardo knew how to make drawings and paintings glow with lyrical mystery. At its best, Nicholl's book glows too. The New York Times Book Review"[A] deeply researched, engaging and illuminating biography... masterfully woven together." The Washington Post

show more

About Charles Nicholl

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.
show more

Table of contents

Author's Note
Introduction: The Cooling of the Soup
Part One
Childhood: 1452-1466

The da Vinci
'My First memory . . .'
At the Mill
Speaking with Animals
The 'Madonna of the Snow'

Part Two
Apprenticeship: 1466-1477

The City
Renaissance Men
Andrea's Bottega
Learning the Trade
On the Lantern
First Paintings
The Dragon
The Saltarelli Affair
'Companions in Pistoia'

Part Three
Independence: 1477-1482

Leonardo's Studio
The Hanged Man
The Technologist
'Poets in a Hurry'
The Musician
St. Jerome and the Lion
The Gardens of the Medici
The Adoration

Part Four
New Horizons: 1482-1490

Expatriates and Artists
The Virgin of the Rocks
Ways of Escape
The First Notebooks
Tall Tales, Small Puzzles
Architectural Projects
The Moor's Mistress
The Milanese Studio
The Anatomist
The Sforza Horse
At the Corte Vecchia

Part Five
At Court: 1490-1499

'Of shadow and light'
Little Devil
Hunting Bears
Casting the Horse
'Caterina came . . .'
Echoes of War
The Making of the Last Supper
The 'Academy'
Leonardo's Garden
'Sell what you cannot take . . .'

Part Six
On the Move: 1500-1506

Mantua and Venice
Back in Florence
The Insistent Marchioness
Autumn in Imola
A Letter to the Sultan
Moving the River
Mistress Lisa
The Anghiari Fresco (I)
A Death and a Journey
The Anghiari Fresco (II)
The Spirit of the Bird

Part Seven
Return to Milan: 1506-1513

The Governor
'Good day, Master Francesco . . .'
Brothers at War
Back in the Studio
The World and Its Waters
Fêtes Milanaises
La Cremona
The 'Medical Schools'
Chez Melzi
Portrait of the Artist at Sixty

Part Eight
Last Years: 1513-1519

Heading South
At the Belvedere
The Baptist and the Bacchus
The Deluge
Sickness, Deception, Mirrors
Last Visit to Florence
Maistre Lyenard
The Cardinal Calls
'Night was chased away'
The Great Sea

show more

Rating details

1,079 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 36% (393)
4 37% (402)
3 20% (220)
2 5% (49)
1 1% (15)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X