Leonardo Da Vinciby D. M. Field
Leonardo Da Vinci patrons might find his failures to complete a commission exasperating, just as we may share their regrets at the perfectionism which made it difficult for him to bring a work of art to a successful conclusion, but contemporaries generally had no doubts about the genius of Leonardo da Vinci. Naturally, in that era of classical revival, he was often compared with the great scholars of ancient Greece, with Archimedes, Pythagoras, and most of all, perhaps, with Plato, whose figure in Raphael's famous painting of the School of Athens is generally believed to be modeled on the venerable Leonardo.
The life and work of Leonardo, the archetypical 'Renaissance Man' for whom no branch of knowledge was allowed to remain a closed book, has proved endlessly fascinating to later generations. At one time he was known only as a painter, although many of his works by other hands were unknown and a number of inferior works by other hands were wrongly attributed to him. The full, amazing extent of his genius emerged only in quite recent times with the rediscovery of his notebooks and drawings. For a time, even Leonardo the painter seemed to be submerged by the weight of his new reputation as a scientist. Some readjustment has taken place since then. As a scientist and engineer, Leonardo's achievements, though staggering enough, have proved to be a shade less novel than once we thought, while at the same time a succession of brilliant art historians, beginning with Bernhard Berenson and Kenneth Clark, have made us far more knowledgeable about his art. Though Leonardo would have jibbed at such a judgement, he was and is, first and foremost a great painter, a man whose output was tiny compared with other geniuses of his time (a Michelangelo, a Raphael, a Titian) yet included possibly the two most famous paintings in history, the Mona Lisa and the Last Super.
- Barnes & Noble
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.78(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.33(d)
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
The author's inability to accept Da Vinci's genius for what it is became immediately apparent even in the Introduction. Repeated denials of authorship and denigration of accepted facts lead this reader to conclude that the entire literary portion is better relegated to the stable. Using denial or denigration as a ploy to prove authority is laughable. You do Da vinci and your readers an injustice. The book simply remains an extraordinary visual palimpcest of renaissance art.