Becoming Leonardo

Becoming Leonardo

An Exploded View of the Life of Leonardo Da Vinci

Book - 2017
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Random House, Inc.
"I found Mr. Lankford’s writing thought-provoking and Mr. Isaacson’s thought-stifling. Mr.Lankford proposes a great many insights...With immediacy and grace, Becoming Leonardo starts on a high note and gets better to the very end."—WALL STREET JOURNAL

Wall Street Journal 2017 Book of the Year
Spectator 2017 Book of the Year

Why did Leonardo Da Vinci leave so many of his major works uncompleted? Why did this resolute pacifist build war machines for the notorious Borgias? Why did he carry the Mona Lisa with him everywhere he went for decades, yet never quite finish it? Why did he write backwards, and was he really at war with Michelangelo? And was he gay?
 
In a book unlike anything ever written about the Renaissance genius, Mike Lankford explodes every cliché about Da Vinci and then reconstructs him based on a rich trove of available evidence—bringing to life for the modern reader the man who has been studied by scholars for centuries, yet has remained as mysterious as ever.   
 
Seeking to envision Da Vinci without the obscuring residue of historical varnish, the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of Renaissance Italy—usually missing in other biographies—are all here, transporting readers back to a world of war and plague and court intrigue, of viciously competitive famous artists, of murderous tyrants with exquisite tastes in art ….
 
Lankford brilliantly captures Da Vinci's life as the compelling and dangerous adventure it seems to have actually been—fleeing from one sanctuary to the next, somehow surviving in war zones beside his friend Machiavelli, struggling to make art his way or no way at all ... and often paying dearly for those decisions.
 
It is a thrilling and absorbing journey into the life of a ferociously dedicated loner, whose artwork in one way or another represents his noble rebellion, providing inspiration that is timeless.

Baker & Taylor
A journey into the life of the ferociously dedicated loner and Renaissance master explores a world of war and plague and court intrigue, of viciously competitive famous artists, and of murderous tyrants with exquisite tastes in art.

Baker
& Taylor

Unlike anything ever written before about the Renaissance genius, a fascinating journey into the life of a ferociously dedicated loner transports readers back to a world of war and plague and court intrigue, of viciously competitive famous artists, and of murderous tyrants with exquisite tastes in art.

Publisher: Brooklyn : Melville House, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781612195957
1612195954
9781612195964
Characteristics: xii, 289 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 23 cm

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Pat_Kelly
Dec 25, 2017

Update: After reading Isaacson's book on Leonardo I upgraded by opinion of this one. Isaacson's book is more textbook and this is more novel, but both provide the same basic outline of the man. Lankford's is the more enjoyable in general; while Isaacson's may be a better written book about the paintings. Lankford tells the story year-by-year of daVinci's life by writing a fiction novel cloaked in the few facts known about his life; not a history, not a biography, not a pure fiction, So what is it - a docudrama on TV. The author contends that daVinci dazzled people into believing in his harebrained, half-baked schemes with the artistry and beauty of drawings with this "left-hand". If so, then this author does the same with a sleight-of-hand story.

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