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Beschreibung des Verlags
'To read this magnificent biography of Leonardo da Vinci is to take a tour through the life and works of one of the most extraordinary human beings of all time in the company of the most engaging, informed, and insightful guide imaginable. Walter Isaacson is at once a true scholar and a spellbinding writer. And what a wealth of lessons there are to be learned in these pages.' David McCullough
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.
Screen, television, and stage actor Molina (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Not Without My Daughter), elegantly narrates Isaacson's sweeping biography of Leonardo da Vinci. Molina effortlessly navigates Italian place names and surnames, and there is a sharp intelligence throughout his performance, as he joins Isaacson in peeling back the layers of a man whose surviving notebooks are crammed with fantastic designs but only contain tantalizing hints of a personal life. Isaacson manages to piece together chronologically the artist's life from his apprenticeship at age 14 in Florence under Andrea del Verrochio to his death in France in 1519, focusing primarily on his evolution as an artist. Isaacson reads the foreword and the conclusion, in which he ruminates on the legacy of an artist whose trail of unfinished projects vastly outnumbers his completed works. The only hiccup in this excellent audio production is that the nearly 150 illustrations mentioned throughout are available in PDF form but are not easily accessible for those listening on the go. Still, it's a great performance by Molina and a pleasure to listen to. A Simon & Schuster hardcover.