To commemorate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, world-renowned da Vinci expert Martin Kemp explores 100 of the master’s milestones in art, science, engineering, architecture, anatomy, and more.
Leonardo da Vinci was born in the small Tuscan town of Vinci in April 1452. Over the centuries, he has become one of the most famous people in the history of visual culture. Spring 2019 marks the 500th anniversary of his death in May 1519, with exhibitions and events planned across Europe and the United States. This lavishly illustrated volume by Martin Kemp—one of the world’s leading authorities on da Vinci—offers a fresh way of looking at the master’s work. Kemp focuses on 100 key, broadly chronological milestones that cover an extraordinary range of topic across Leonardo’s many fields of discipline: painting, where he brought new levels of formal and emotional grandeur to his works, including The Last Supper and Portrait of Lisa del Giocondo (the “Mona Lisa”); anatomical studies, which are extraordinary for their sense of form and function (Studies of the Optics of the Human Eye and Ventricles of the Brain); engineering marvels, noted for their range and extraordinary visual quality (Gearing for a Clockwork Mechanism and Wheels without Axles and Designs for a Flying Machine); and his progressive engagement with a range of sciences—anatomy, optics, dynamics, statics, geology, and mathematics.