Leonardo da Vinci

Flights of the Mind

Charles Nicholl - Author

Paperback | $20.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9780143036128 | 448 pages | 29 Nov 2005 | Penguin | 5.62 x 9.37in | 18 - AND UP
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"Nicholl's life of Leonardo is fresh, detailed, vivid, and presents the most fully human Leonardo we have" -Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

As the success of blockbusters like The Da Vinci Code shows, the incomparable and enigmatic Leonardo da Vinci continues to captivate. In this widely acclaimed biography, Charles Nicholl uncovers the man behind the myth of the “Renaissance master.” Painter, sculptor, inventor, draftsman, anatomist—Leonardo’s life and career encompassed so many of the creative achievements that made his era spectacular. Nicholl skillfully captures it all while tracing his subject’s journey from an illegitimate child in Tuscany to his service with some of the most powerful families of Renaissance Europe. Rich with historical background, packed with black-and-white and color illustrations, and utterly engaging, this is the definitive look at a figure whose genius reaches out to us through the centuries.

Author's Note
Introduction: The Cooling of the Soup

Part One
Childhood: 1452-1466

The da Vinci
'My First memory . . .'
At the Mill
Speaking with Animals
The 'Madonna of the Snow'

Part Two
Apprenticeship: 1466-1477

The City
Renaissance Men
Andrea's Bottega
Learning the Trade
On the Lantern
First Paintings
The Dragon
The Saltarelli Affair
'Companions in Pistoia'

Part Three
Independence: 1477-1482

Leonardo's Studio
The Hanged Man
The Technologist
'Poets in a Hurry'
The Musician
St. Jerome and the Lion
The Gardens of the Medici
The Adoration

Part Four
New Horizons: 1482-1490

Expatriates and Artists
The Virgin of the Rocks
Ways of Escape
The First Notebooks
Tall Tales, Small Puzzles
Architectural Projects
The Moor's Mistress
The Milanese Studio
The Anatomist
The Sforza Horse
At the Corte Vecchia

Part Five
At Court: 1490-1499

'Of shadow and light'
Little Devil
Hunting Bears
Casting the Horse
'Caterina came . . .'
Echoes of War
The Making of the Last Supper
The 'Academy'
Leonardo's Garden
'Sell what you cannot take . . .'

Part Six
On the Move: 1500-1506

Mantua and Venice
Back in Florence
The Insistent Marchioness
Autumn in Imola
A Letter to the Sultan
Moving the River
Mistress Lisa
The Anghiari Fresco (I)
A Death and a Journey
The Anghiari Fresco (II)
The Spirit of the Bird

Part Seven
Return to Milan: 1506-1513

The Governor
'Good day, Master Francesco . . .'
Brothers at War
Back in the Studio
The World and Its Waters
Fêtes Milanaises
La Cremona
The 'Medical Schools'
Chez Melzi
Portrait of the Artist at Sixty

Part Eight
Last Years: 1513-1519

Heading South
At the Belvedere
The Baptist and the Bacchus
The Deluge
Sickness, Deception, Mirrors
Last Visit to Florence
Maistre Lyenard
The Cardinal Calls
'Night was chased away'
The Great Sea


[A] deeply researched, engaging and illuminating biography... masterfully woven together. (The Washington Post)

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