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Publisher Description

The #1 New York Times bestseller from Walter Isaacson brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography that is “a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it…Most important, it is a powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life” (The New Yorker).

Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo da Vinci’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson “deftly reveals an intimate Leonardo” (San Francisco Chronicle) in 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. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. 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.

In the “luminous” (Daily Beast) Leonardo da Vinci, Isaacson describes how 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 to be imaginative and, like talented rebels in any era, to think different. Here, da Vinci “comes to life in all his remarkable brilliance and oddity in Walter Isaacson’s ambitious new biography…a vigorous, insightful portrait” (The Washington Post).

Biographies & Memoirs
October 17
Simon & Schuster

Customer Reviews

Conan's Friend ,

Pages are missing

The end of chapter 22 (and other chapters) are missing pages. The last sentence is incomplete. Can someone please help fix this? The eBook was not cheap. I am pretty disappointed.

RedThree ,


The full color pictures act as an annotated guide to his life and works, all of which are featured with wonderful details. This biography of a Renaissance artist, military engineer and genius is so rich with tidbits from people who knew him and stories that have survived from Giorgio Vasari, one of the first art-historical biographers.

Suzanne Chantell ,

De Vinci

Very entertaining book. I read a chapter every day and would share a “fun fact about Leonardo De Vinci” with my family each night at dinner.

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