Leonardo Da Vinci: The Flights of the Mind

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Penguin UK, Apr 7, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 640 pages
Leonardo is the greatest, most multi-faceted and most mysterious of all Renaissance artists, but extraordinarily, considering his enormous reputation, this is the first full-length biography in English for several decades. Prize-winning author Charles Nicholl has immersed himself for five years in all the manuscripts, paintings and artefacts to produce an 'intimate portrait' of Leonardo. He uses these contemporary materials - his notebooks and sketchbooks, eye witnesses and early biographies, etc - as a way into the mental tone and physical texture of his life and has made myriad small discoveries about him and his work and his circle of associates. Among much else, the book identifies what Nicholl argues is an unknown portrait of the artist hanging in a church near Lodi in northern Italy. It also contains new material on his eccentric assistant Tomasso Masini, on his homosexual affairs in Florence, and on his curious relationship with a female model and/or prostitute from Cremona. A masterpiece of modern biography.

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LEONARDO DA VINCI: Flights of the Mind

User Review  - Kirkus

The venerable prize-winning Nicholl (Somebody Else: Arthur Rimbaud in Africa 1880-91, 1999) examines one of the icons of Western culture.For all Leonardo's well-deserved reputation as universal man ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BrentNewhall - LibraryThing

An impressive chronological account of the Maestro's life, this is sadly short on information about the man himself. I now know what he did, but I don't know his personality or habits. Read full review


List of Illustrations
The Cooling of the Soup
Childhood 14521466
Apprenticeship 14661477
Independence 14771482
New Horizons 14821490
At Court 14901499
On the Move 15001506
Return to Milan 15061513
Last Years 15131519

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About the author (2005)

Charles Nicholl's previous publications include The Reckoning: The Murder of Christopher Marlowe (winner of the James Tait Black Prize for Biography), Somebody Else: Arthur Rimbaud in Africa (Winner of the Hawthornden Prize), The Fruit Palace and The Creature in the Map.

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