Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

“A powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life...a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it.”—The New Yorker

“Vigorous, insightful.”—The Washington Post

“A masterpiece.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Luminous.”—The Daily Beast

He was history’s most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us?

The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography.

Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.

He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history’s most creative genius.

His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from having wide-ranging passions. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history’s most memorable smile. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo’s lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions.

Leonardo’s delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it—to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different.
 

About Walter Isaacson

See more books from this Author
Walter Isaacson, presidente del Instituto Aspen, ha sido presidente de la CNN y director ejecutivo de la revista Time. Es autor de Einstein, su vida y su universo, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life y Kissinger: A Biography, y es coautor, con Evan Thomas, de The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. Vive con su esposa en Washington, D.C.
 
Published October 17, 2017 by Simon & Schuster. 525 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment, Travel. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon1
Rank this week
icon1
Peak Rank on Nov 19 2017
icon3
Weeks as Bestseller

Unrated Critic Reviews for Leonardo da Vinci

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

A majestic biography of "history's most creative genius."

Oct 03 2017 | Read Full Review of Leonardo da Vinci

https://www.theguardian.com

See more reviews from this publication

Walter Isaacson’s illuminating study explains why the original Renaissance man left so many paintings unfinished… Walter Isaacson’s illuminating study explains why the original Renaissance man left so many paintings unfinished…

Oct 23 2017 | Read Full Review of Leonardo da Vinci

https://www.thestar.com

See more reviews from this publication

Walter Isaacson, who has written biographies on Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin and Steve Jobs, says da Vinci is the ultimate example of combining art and science, whose insights, innovations and inventions were often decades, centuries and sometime half-a-millennia ahead of their time.

Oct 27 2017 | Read Full Review of Leonardo da Vinci

Reader Rating for Leonardo da Vinci
80%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 88 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×