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Leonardo da Vinci – Italian 1452-1519

Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo da Vinci was one of the greatest inventor-scientist of recorded history. His genius was unbounded by time and technology, and was driven by his insatiable curiosity, and his intuitive sense of the laws of nature.

Da Vinci was dedicated to discovery of truth and the mysteries of nature, and his insightful contributions to science and technology were legendary. As the archetypical Renaissance man, Leonardo helped set an ignorant and superstitous world on a course of reason, science, learning, and tolerance. He was an internationally renowned inventor, scientists, engineer, architect, painter, sculptor, musician, mathematician, anatomist, astronomer, geologists, biologist, and philosopher in his time.

Born in 1452 as an illegitimate son of Ser piero da Vinci, da Vinci was sent to Florence in his teens to apprentice as a painter under Andrea del Verrocchio. He quickly developed his own artistic style which was unique and contrary to tradition, even going so far as to devised his own special formula of paint. His style was characterized by diffuse shadows and subtle hues and marked the beginning of the High Renaissance period. Like many great original efforts, da Vinci's artistic style was largely unpopular for the next quarter century.

Later Da Vinci became the court artist for the duke of Milan. Throughout his life he also served various other roles, including civil engineer and architect (designing mechanical structures such as bridges and aqueducts), and military planner and weapons designer (designing rudimentary tanks, catapults, machine guns, and even navel weapons).

Da Vinci's creative, analytic, and visionary inventiveness has yet to be matched.


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Leonardo's Notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci, H. Anna Suh – Hardcover: 352 pages Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (August 1, 2005)

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) possessed arguably the greatest mind the world has ever known. Artist, draftsman, inventor, and philosopher, his contributions to modern society are profound and wide-reaching. Throughout his life, Leonardo kept dozens of notebooks, elegant studies on topics ranging from architecture to botany to philosophy—indeed nearly anything of which the human imagination could conceive.

Leonardo’s Notebooks collects a variety of the most fascinating of these studies and compiles them into one monumental volume that demystifies his insights and clearly illustrates his ideas, experiments, and observations with hundreds of his original sketches, line drawings, and paintings. Topics include Anatomy and the Movement of the Human Figure; Botany and Landscape; Engineering and Military Engineering; Physical Sciences; Aerodynamics and Flight; Geography—and more.

Leonardo: The Last Supper by Pinin Brambilla Barcilon, Pietro C. Marani, Harlow Tighe (Translator) Hardcover: 458 pages Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; Slipcase edition (April 2, 2001)

Between 1494 and 1498, Leonardo da Vinci painted one of the great Western masterpieces directly onto the wall of the refectory of the Santa Maria Della Grazie church in Milan and it immediately started to deteriorate. Leonardo: The Last Supper documents the process by which, after nearly 500 years and various "restorations," conservators attempted to get the work as close as possible to its original state. For the last 20 years, fresco expert Pinin Brambilla Barcilon has presided over one of the most meticulous and controversial projects in her field. Along with da Vinci scholar and curator Pietro C. Mariani, she here presents "before," "during" and "after" detail shots of the entire work, explaining the various techniques employed and sources consulted along the way. The 382 color plates and 64 halftones in the lush, slipcased edition are accompanied by extensive, cogent commentary, translated by Harlow Tighe.

Leonardo Da Vinci: The Complete Paintings by Pietro C. Marani – Hardcover, 384 pages (November 1, 2000)

This magisterial work-the most exquisite and luxuriously produced art monograph of the season-will immediately be recognized as the seminal volume on the paintings of the great Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci. Not only does the quality of the reproductions far surpass those in previous books, but every one of Leonardo's magnificent paintings is included, along with preparatory drawings and studies for his most famous works, and a text by one of the world's leading experts on Leonardo.

Such beloved masterpieces as the Mona Lisa, The Madonna of the Rocks, and The Annunciation are all freshly photographed and showcased in greater detail than ever before. The newly restored Last Supper, lavishly reproduced as a full-color double gatefold, is seen here in all its richness of detail and tone. Scholar Pietro Marani explores Leonardo's fertile and original intellect and his astounding capacity for imbuing the human figure with emotion and sublime beauty and grace. Here, then, is a glorious art book that will be a gift to treasure for a lifetime.

Da Vinci and the Code He Lived By (History Channel) (2005)
Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
Run Time: 90 minutes

The "code" referred to in the History Channel's Da Vinci and the Code He Lived By has nothing to do with theories about the High Renaissance master's involvement with secret societies (as explored in Dan Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code). Instead, it refers to Da Vinci's implacable work ethic, his insatiable curiosity and the talent and discipline required to keep his busy mind satisfied. Da Vinci reminds us that the great engineer, inventor, and painter was born illegitimate and was not entitled to use his father's name, let alone the latter's financial resources or reputation within Florence. A long stint as student in a respected studio earned Da Vinci his first renown during a treacherous time in Florence. He was denounced as a sodomist by an unknown enemy; fortunately, the charges were dropped. Da Vinci went on to find patronage for his art, if not for the engineering marvels and weapons designs that (few know today) so preoccupied him. This History Channel documentary explores every major chapter in Da Vinci's life, including his patronage by the bloodthirsty Cesare Borgia, his passion for studying human anatomy (and the legacy his research left to scientists), and his certainty that one day human beings would fly. As for the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, sure: Such masterpieces are discussed at length. But they're not dissected for hidden meanings. —Tom Keogh


The Literary works of Leonardo Da Vinci by Leonardo da Vinci, Jean Paul Richter (Editor) – Unknown Binding

Publisher: Phaidon; [3d ed edition (1970)

Leonardo da Vinci: 5 Volume Set by Claire Farago – Library Binding: 2432 pages Publisher: Routledge; 1st edition (June 1, 1999)

Edited with an introduction by a leading Leonardo manuscript specialist, this five-volume series reproducing over 150 articles is organized with an eye to making scholarly Leonardo studies more widely accessible without sacrificing the rigor of scholarship. More than an assembly of outstanding articles, this mini-archive is an effective research tool to rehistoricize the artist or to acquaint students with Leonardo's writings and works...

Leonardo Da Vinci: Origins of a Genius by David Alan Brown – Hardcover, 248 pages (October 1998) Yale Univ Press

This beautiful book is the first full-length study of Leonardo's beginnings as an artist. It discusses his years in Verrocchio's workshop and his subsequent work on his own, the development of his technique, and the relationship of his early paintings to each other and to their sources.

Leonardo: A Portrait of the Renaissance Man by Roger Whiting – Paperback, 192 pages Reprint edition (April 1998) Knickerbocker Press

The quintessential Renaissance man, Leonardo Da Vinci was equally at home as an artist, writer, inventor, scientist or musician, and his talent was such that he excelled in each. The majority of his known illustrated writings form the basis of this magnificent volume.

Leonardo Da Vinci: The Mind of the Renaissance (Discoveries) by Alessandro Vezzosi (Editor), Leonardo (Editor) – Paperback, 160 pages (December 1997) Harry N Abrams (Pap)


Leonardo Da Vinci by Jack Wasserman, Jack Wassermann – Hardcover, 128 pages (September 1984) Harry N Abrams

Continuously in print for more than 20 years, Abrams' Masters of Art series has always been known for its exceptional quality and value. Now these classic volumes devoted to the lives and works of the world's great painters have been newly redesigned and released in paperback for the first time. The comprehensive texts, written by distinguished art historians, provide incisive and informative portraits of the artists and perceptive commentaries on their works and achievements. Each book features 40 full-page, full-color plates accompanied by commentary on the facing page. Numerous black-and-white illustrations supplement the text.

Leonardo Da Vinci: A Singular Vision, Drawings from the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen by Martin Clayton, – Hardcover: 168 pages Publisher: Artabras Publishers (January 1998)

The disheartening paucity of finished works by Leonardo da Vinci is partially recompensed by the superabundance of surviving drawings. This excellent selection of 100 drawings from the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle offers not only an exquisite sampling of Leonardo's extraordinarily diverse graphic oeuvre but also a genuinely accessible scholarly introduction to the drawings as a whole. Brief but penetrating introductory essays aptly characterize the activities of each phase of his career, while the carefully wrought catalog entries—complemented by fine color reproductions—examine the manifold functions for which the drawings were employed. Students of Leonardo will appreciate curator Clayton's straightforward characterizations, his thoughtful reexamination of some pieces, the chronological setting, and his ability to articulate scholarly complexities in a lucid and unpedantic fashion. For most libraries. —Robert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Life of Leonardo Da Vinci (1995)
Starring: Philippe Leroy, Giulio Bosetti Director: Renato Castellani

Box set, Color, NTSC
Language: Italian
Number of tapes: 3
VHS Release Date: April 30, 2002
Run Time: 270 minutes

Leonardo Da Vinci A & E Biography.

Actors: David Janssen, more
Black & White, Color, NTSC
VHS Release Date: November 11, 1998
Run Time: 50 minutes

Leonardo is best known for the Mona Lisa and most know that he was also an inventor. He also was a child of the aristocracy and never completed most of his projects. The canal project described in the aforementioned book was a massive failure, but few have ever heard of it (I sure hadn't). If this video were made this year it would be bound to include something about that failed project and maybe give a fuller picture of his activities. Perhaps because his interests were so widespread his story is difficult to tell in 45 minutes.

Math and the Mona Lisa: The Art and Science of Leonardo da Vinci by Bulent Atalay Paperback: 336 pages Publisher: Collins; Reprint edition (February 21, 2006)

In this readable, if less than compelling, disquisition on the close relationship of art and science, physics professor Atalay uses as his touchstone Leonardo da Vinci, of whom he says in his prologue: "Had [da Vinci] been able to publish the scientific ruminations found in his manuscripts in his own time, our present level of sophistication in science and technology might have been reached one or two centuries earlier." This assertion sets the buoyant tone for the rest of the book. The author marvels at the symmetries to be found in art and the natural world, discussing the Fibonacci series (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8...) and the golden ratio related to it designated by the Greek letter phi (1.618...) with illustrated examples ranging from da Vinci's three portraits of women to the Great Pyramid and the Parthenon. He concedes the existence of asymmetry and dissonance, but chooses not to get into such subjects as chaos theory and fractals that don't fit his harmonious view of the universe. While Atalay makes an agreeable guide, he covers too much ground that will already be familiar to his likely audience.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Painters of Reality: The Legacy of Leonardo and Caravaggio in Lombardy (Metropolitan Museum of Art Series) by Andrea Bayer (Editor), Mina Gregori (Editor) Hardcover: 272 pages Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art (May 11, 2004)

Inspired largely by Leonardo's brilliant naturalistic work for the Sforza court in Milan, Lombard artists of the late fifteenth century began to use direct observation to investigate the natural world. This heritage was of considerable importance in northern Italian art for two centuries, finding its greatest expression in the works of Caravaggio and influencing the course of Baroque painting in Rome and eventually elsewhere in Europe. Painters of Reality identifies the salient characteristics of this naturalistic strand in Lombard art. Building on the scholarship of renowned art historian Roberto Longhi, the authors reexamine the subject in light of subsequent literature. Essays range from broad discussions of naturalism in Lombard paintings and drawings (including a fresh consideration of works by Caravaggio) to more specialized treatments of Leonardo's influence, the schools of painting centered in Brescia, Bergamo, Cremona, and Milan, and Caravaggio's most notable successors in northern Italy. In addition to Leonardo and Caravaggio, masters such as Lotto, Savoldo, Moroni, and Ceruti and other significant but less widely known figures are represented. With its devotion to recording the unvarnished truth of daily life, its meticulously observed still lifes and landscapes, and its dramatic use of highly focused light to define form, Lombard art was hugely influential in its time and still holds much appeal today.

Renaissance Rivals: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian by Rona Goffen – Paperback: 532 pages Publisher: Yale University Press (August 11, 2004)

“Who would have thought that the serene masterpieces of the High Renaissance owed so much of their vitality to backstage brawling? Only Rona Goffen knows enough to trace these labyrinthine rivalries. In her book the artists take on cinematic vitality, making us see the artifacts produced by such creative brawlers in entirely new ways. They are knockouts. So is her book.”—Garry Wills

"This lively and appealing book is an important achievement. . . . Magnificently researched and handsomely produced, Renaissance Rivals advances the discussion of a central aspect of early modern culture. In doing so, it has no rivals."—Werner Gundersheimer, American Scholar

Leonardo Da Vinci: The Complete Paintings And Drawings by Frank Zollner (Editor), Johannes, Dr. Nathan (Editor) – Hardcover: 696 pages Publisher: Taschen (March 15, 2003)

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) possessed one of the greatest minds of all time; his importance and influence are inestimable. This XXL-format comprehensive survey is the most complete book ever made on the subject of this Italian painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, scientist and all-around genius. With huge, full-bleed details of Leonardo's masterworks, this highly original publication allows the reader to inspect the subtlest facets of his brushstrokes.

How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day by Michael J. Gelb – Paperback, 336 pages (March 2000) Dell Books (Paperbacks)

Genius is made, not born. And human beings are gifted with an almost unlimited potential for learning and creativity. Now you can uncover your own hidden abilities, sharpen your senses, and liberate your unique intelligence—by following the example of the greatest genius of all time, Leonardo da Vinci.

Acclaimed author Michael J. Gelb, who has helped thousands of people expand their minds to accomplish more than they ever thought possible, shows you how. Drawing on Da Vinci's notebooks, inventions, and legendary works of art, Gelb introduces Seven Da Vincian Principles—the essential elements of genius—from curiosità, the insatiably curious approach to life to connessione, the appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things. With Da Vinci as your inspiration, you will discover an exhilarating new way of thinking. And step-by-step, through exercises and provocative lessons, you will harness the power—and awesome wonder—of your own genius, mastering such life-changing abilities as:
  • Problem solving
  • Creative thinking
  • Self-expression
  • Enjoying the world around you
  • Goal setting and life balance
  • Harmonizing body and mind



  • Leonardo Da Vinci: Scientist, Inventor, Artist by Otto Letze (Editor), Thomas Buchsteiner (Editor), Leonardo Da Vinci – Paperback (April 1997) Distributed Art Publishers


    Leonardo: The Artist and the Man by Serge Bramly, Sian Reynolds (Translator) – Paperback, 493 pages Reprint edition (March 1995) Penguin USA

    First published in France, Serge Bramly's acclaimed biography reveals Leonardo to be as complicated, seductive, and profoundly sympathetic as the figures he painted. Bramly spent five years gathering evidence to reconstruct the artist's life—from his early years as an illegitimate child to his death in the arms of the King of France. Four pages of color photographs; 75 B&W photos.

    Leonardo Da Vinci by Patrice Boussel – Hardcover, 200 pages (December 1995) Smithmark Publisher's


    Genius - Leonardo da Vinci Color, Dolby, NTSC
    Release Date: April 25, 2006
    Run Time: 50 minutes

    The story of the brilliant Italian artist, sculptor, architect and engineer is told in this informative program. Leonardo’s legacy to the world came in so many forms; in the breathtaking beauty of The Last Supper and The Mona Lisa; his rich collection of drawing; the mirror-written notebooks containing original thoughts on astronomy, biology and physiology. This DVD features: State of the art 3D graphics to explain and test Leonardo’s theories and designs, outstanding computer animated reconstructions, the paintings and drawings, rare period imagery, expert commentary and analyses by Dr. Alan Cartwight, School of Engineering at the University of Warwick, Dr. Peter Borcherds, School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham and Dr. Martin Kemp, Trinity College Oxford.

    Leonardo Da Vinci by Kenneth Clark, Leonardo, Martin Kemp – Paperback Rev/Illus edition (June 1993) Penguin USA (Paper)

    Clark's study of Leonardo is generally considered the clearest introduction available to the work of the controversial genius. This edition contains 128 plates, integrated into the text; a revised list of dates; an updated bibliography; and a new introduction.

    The Life of Leonardo Da Vinci (1972) Starring: Philippe Leroy, Giulio Bosetti Director: Renato Castellani
    Color, NTSC
    Release Date: April 1, 2003
    Language: English
    Run Time: 270 minutes


    History Makers: Leonardo Da Vinci (1997) Color, NTSC
    VHS Release Date: June 2, 1998
    Run Time: 45 minutes


    Leonardo Da Vinci: The Visionary Intellect (1992) Color, NTSC
    VHS Release Date: June 18, 1996
    Run Time: 30 minutes



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