Leonardo

Leonardo

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Inside the mind of a Renaissance genius - unravel the mystery This fascinating exploration of Leonardo da Vinci's life and work identifies what it was that made him so unique and explains the phenomenon of the world's most celebrated genius who, 500 years on, still grips and inspires us. Martin Kemp offer us exceptional insights into what it was that made this Renaissance man so special, and the 'real' meaning behind such masterpieces as The Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. Tracing Leonardo's career in all its variety, we learn of his unfulfilled dreams, relationships with powerful patrons, and the truth about his religious views. Kemp shows that it is the famous notebooks that reveal both the secret of Leonardo's success and genius as they clearly show how his mind worked and display the truly innovative and investigative nature of his creative vision. Over 20,000 pages of drawings and notes detail Leonardo's incredible discoveries and inventions from the workings of the human eye to designs for flying machines and robots. Bringing the story of Leonardo up to the present day, Martin Kemp considers what he means to us today, investigates the 'Leonardo industry', and speculates about what he would he be doing if he were alive today?.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 134 x 198 x 32mm | 557.93g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • illustrations, halftones
  • 0192805460
  • 9780192805461

Review quote

"A serious book filled with fresh thought.... Kemp has succeeded at something that is possible only after years of reflection."--A. Richard Turner, Los Angeles Times"Leonardo seen from the inside out.... A series of intense, learned meditations on Leonardesque themes.... Kemp tries to define what Leonardo thought he was doing, and why. He argues, convincingly, that Leonardo was constantly searching for a universal system of proportion--not merely a system of aesthetic proportion, like the famous Golden Mean, but a system of proportion that would explain, as Newton's inverse-square rule of gravity did, two centuries later, the fundamental workings of forces."--Adam Gopnick, The New Yorker"A leading authority on Leonardo da Vinci, Kemp attempts to set forth a succinct, understandable, unified account of da Vinci's creative and intellectual life.... Fascinating, enlightening, well written, and easy to read."--Library Journal"Excites the reader's admiration for the restless vitality of the man and his ideas.... Kemp is at his best when elucidating Leonardo's scientific investigations.... The heart of his book introduces us to some of the investigations that kept Leonardo from finishing paintings, ranging from optics, anatomy and engineering to geology and hydraulics."--Washington Post Book World"Kemp, an eminent Oxford art historian and Leonardo scholar, has condensed what he calls Leonardo's 'strange career' as an artist, engineer, and musician into a series of key moments."--The Economist"A noble attempt to bring a legend down to earth.... Kemp's experience offers just as many pleasures and benefits; after a career spent researching the artist, he's well suited to provide a personal account of Leonardo, enriched by anecdotes and contemporary analogies. At the close, he succinctly reviews why Leonardo is worth studying, using the Mona Lisa as case in point and giving a marvelous description of the experience of seeing the painting out of its frame and bullet-proof case. It makes an exceptional finale."--Kirkus Reviews"If Martin Kemp's book is as widely read and discussed as it deserves to be, a new image of Leonardo will supplant that of the indecisive polymath. This new Leonardo will be seen as a consummate quester, one whose curiosity took him everywhere."--St. Petersburg Times"Kemp is a recognized authority on Leonardo and has some more substantial things to say about him. The illustrations, the thumbnail gallery of the paintings and the biographical timeline also make this a concise and useful reference book."--San Jose Mercury News "A serious book filled with fresh thought.... Kemp has succeeded at something that is possible only after years of reflection."--A. Richard Turner, Los Angeles Times "Leonardo seen from the inside out.... A series of intense, learned meditations on Leonardesque themes.... Kemp tries to define what Leonardo thought he was doing, and why. He argues, convincingly, that Leonardo was constantly searching for a universal system of proportion--not merely a system of aesthetic proportion, like the famous Golden Mean, but a system of proportion that would explain, as Newton's inverse-square rule of gravity did, two centuries later, the fundamental workings of forces."--Adam Gopnick, The New Yorker "A leading authority on Leonardo da Vinci, Kemp attempts to set forth a succinct, understandable, unified account of da Vinci's creative and intellectual life.... Fascinating, enlightening, well written, and easy to read."--Library Journal "Excites the reader's admiration for the restless vitality of the man and his ideas.... Kemp is at his best when elucidating Leonardo's scientific investigations.... The heart of his book introduces us to some of the investigations that kept Leonardo from finishing paintings, ranging from optics, anatomy and engineering to geology and hydraulics."--Washington Post Book World "Kemp, an eminent Oxford art historian and Leonardo scholar, has condensed what he calls Leonardo's 'strange career' as an artist, engineer, and musician into a series of key moments."--The Economist "A noble attempt to bring a legend down to earth.... Kemp's experience offers just as many pleasures and benefits; after a career spent researching the artist, he's wellsuited to provide a personal account of Leonardo, enriched by anecdotes and contemporary analogies. At the close, he succinctly reviews why Leonardo is worth studying, using the Mona Lisa as case in point and giving a marvelous description of the experience of seeing the painting out of its frame and bullet-proof case. It makes an exceptional finale."--Kirkus Reviews "If Martin Kemp's book is as widely read and discussed as it deserves to be, a new image of Leonardo will supplant that of the indecisive polymath. This new Leonardo will be seen as a consummate quester, one whose curiosity took him everywhere."--St. Petersburg Times "Kemp is a recognized authority on Leonardo and has some more substantial things to say about him. The illustrations, the thumbnail gallery of the paintings and the biographical timeline also make this a concise and useful reference book."--San Jose Mercury News "A serious book filled with fresh thought.... Kemp has succeeded at something that is possible only after years of reflection."--A. Richard Turner, Los Angeles Times "Leonardo seen from the inside out.... A series of intense, learned meditations on Leonardesque themes.... Kemp tries to define what Leonardo thought he was doing, and why. He argues, convincingly, that Leonardo was constantly searching for a universal system of proportion--not merely a system of aesthetic proportion, like the famous Golden Mean, but a system of proportion that would explain, as Newton's inverse-square rule of gravity did, two centuries later, the fundamental workings of forces."--Adam Gopnick, The New Yorker "A leading authority on Leonardo da Vinci, Kemp attempts to set forth a succinct, understandable, unified account of da Vinci's creative and intellectual life.... Fascinating, enlightening, well written, and easy to read."--Library Journal "Excites the reader's admiration for the restless vitality of the man and his ideas.... Kemp is at his best when elucidating Leonardo's scientific investigations.... The heart of his book introduces us to some of the investigations that kept Leonardo from finishing paintings, ranging from optics, anatomy and engineering to geology and hydraulics."--Washington Post Book World "Kemp, an eminent Oxford art historian and Leonardo scholar, has condensed what he calls Leonardo's 'strange career' as an artist, engineer, and musician into a series of key moments."--The Economist "A noble attempt to bring a legend down to earth.... Kemp's experience offers just as many pleasures and benefits; after acareer spent researching the artist, he's well suited to provide a personal account of Leonardo, enriched by anecdotes and contemporary analogies. At the close, he succinctly reviews why Leonardo is worth studying, using the Mona Lisa as case in point and giving a marvelous description of the experience of seeing the painting out of its frame and bullet-proof case. It makes an exceptional finale."--Kirkus Reviews "If Martin Kemp's book is as widely read and discussed as it deserves to be, a new image of Leonardo will supplant that of the indecisive polymath. This new Leonardo will be seen as a consummate quester, one whose curiosity took him everywhere."--St. Petersburg Times "Kemp is a recognized authority on Leonardo and has some more substantial things to say about him. The illustrations, the thumbnail gallery of the paintings and the biographical timeline also make this a concise and useful reference book."--San Jose Mercury News "A serious book filled with fresh thought.... Kemp has succeeded at something that is possible only after years of reflection."--A. Richard Turner, Los Angeles Times"Leonardo seen from the inside out.... A series of intense, learned meditations on Leonardesque themes.... Kemp tries to define what Leonardo thought he was doing, and why. He argues, convincingly, that Leonardo was constantly searching for a universal system of proportion--not merely a system ofaesthetic proportion, like the famous Golden Mean, but a system of proportion that would explain, as Newton's inverse-square rule of gravity did, two centuries later, the fundamental workings of forces."--Adam Gopnick, The New Yorker"A leading authority on Leonardo da Vinci, Kemp attempts to set forth a succinct, understandable, unified account of da Vinci's creative and intellectual life.... Fascinating, enlightening, well written, and easy to read."--Library Journal"Excites the reader's admiration for the restless vitality of the man and his ideas.... Kemp is at his best when elucidating Leonardo's scientific investigations.... The heart of his book introduces us to some of the investigations that kept Leonardo from finishing paintings, ranging from optics, anatomy and engineering to geology and hydraulics."--Washington Post Book World"Kemp, an eminent Oxford art historian and Leonardo scholar, has condensed what he calls Leonardo's 'strange career' as an artist, engineer, and musician into a series of key moments."--The Economist"A noble attempt to bring a legend down to earth.... Kemp's experience offers just as many pleasures and benefits; after a career spent researching the artist, he's wellsuited to provide a personal account of Leonardo, enriched by anecdotes and contemporary analogies. At the close, he succinctlyreviews why Leonardo is worth studying, using the Mona Lisa as case in point and giving a marvelous description of the experience of seeing the painting out of its frame and bullet-proof case. It makes an exceptional finale."--Kirkus Reviews"If Martin Kemp's book is as widely read and discussed as it deserves to be, a new image of Leonardo will supplant that of the indecisive polymath. This new Leonardo will be seen as a consummate quester, one whose curiosity took him everywhere."--St. Petersburg Times"Kemp is a recognized authority on Leonardo and has some more substantial things to say about him. The illustrations, the thumbnail gallery of the paintings and the biographical timeline also make this a concise and useful reference book."--San Jose Mercury Newsshow more

About MR Martin Kemp

Martin Kemp is University Professor of the History of Art at the University of Oxford, Trinity College. The author of The Oxford History of Western Art, he is an eminent art historian who has carried out extensive research into the art, science, and technology of Leonardo.show more

Table of contents

PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS; INTRODUCTION; Leonardo and the "abbreviators"; 1. A Strange Career; 2. Looking; 3. Body and Machine; 4. The World's Body; 5. Telling Tales; 6. Lisa's Room; LIST OF FIGURES; LEONARDO'S LIFE IN OUTLINE; A THUMBNAIL GALLERY; FURTHER READINGshow more

Rating details

160 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 20% (32)
4 41% (65)
3 32% (51)
2 6% (9)
1 2% (3)
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