Becoming Leonardo

Becoming Leonardo

An Exploded View of the Life of Leonardo Da Vinci

Book - 2017
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"While Leonardo Da Vinci is one of the most discussed artists of all time, it's shocking how little is actually known about him -- at least, according to most of his biographies. Why did he leave so many projects uncompleted? Why did a seeming peace-lover volunteer to create war machines for the Borgias? Why did he always take the Mona Lisa with him, whereever he went? Didn't he have any friends? Was he really at war with Michaelangelo? Was he gay? And why did he flee to France seemingly, to die? In fact much is known about Leonardo, but modern scholars and biographers have routinely avoided making assumptions based on that evidence, either out of academic caution or the impulse to be p.c. And yet evidence abounds for thoughtful speculation. Enter passionate Da Vinci fan Mike Lankford, who has written the first biography openly and thoroughly discussing that available evidence and what it might indicate -- often in rather strong terms. What's more, Lankford presents DaVinci's life as the exciting narrative it seems to have actually been -- fleeing from one sanctuary to the next, somehow surviving his time in war zones beside his freind Machiavelli, struggling to make art his way or no way at all ... and often paying dearly for those decisions. It is, in the end, a thrilling and fascinating journey into the life of a ferociously dedicated loner, whose artwork in one way or another represents his noble rebellion, providing inspiration that is, quite apparently, timeless."--Publisher's description
Publisher: Brooklyn : Melville House, [2017]
ISBN: 9781612195957
Characteristics: xii, 289 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 23 cm


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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 tries to do the same with a sleight-of-hand story.


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