Leonardo Da Vinci: The Divine And The Grotesque

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Royal Collection Enterprises Limited, 2002 - Art - 192 pages
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The pursuit of beauty and its opposite was one of the central themes of Leonardo da Vinci's life. This book looks in detail at 75 drawings of the divinely beautiful and the grotesquely ugly from the unrivalled collection preserved in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle.
In his introductory essay, Martin Clayton explores Leonardo's life-long urge to create such drawings. Individual entries then look at each of the selected works, placing them in the context of contemporary attitudes to beauty, notions of perfect proportion, popular images of the comically ugly, and accepted modes of artistic creation and social behaviour. Among the drawings are studies for Leonardo's masterpieces such as the Last Supper and Leda and the swan, imaginary heads drawn to capture the perfect profile, satirical grotesques, dissections of the head, portraits of Leonardo's associates, designs for masks and festival costumes and much else.
Leonardo's studies of heads are some of the most fascinating and idiosyncratic works ever produced by this archetypal genius. This is the first book to explore the subject fully. With 149 illustrations, 92 in colour.

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An Outl1ne of Leonardos L1fe
A Note on Leonardos Draw1ngs and Manuscr1pts
The Prof1le Sheet cat

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About the author (2002)

Martin Clayton is Deputy Curator of the Print Room in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle.

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