This fascinating exploration of Leonardo da Vinci's life and work identifies what it was that made him so unique, and explains the phenomenon of the world's most celebrated artistic genius who, 500 years on, still grips and inspires us. Martin Kemp offers us exceptional insights into what it was that made this Renaissance man so special, and the "real" meaning behind such masterpieces as the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. Tracing Leonardo's career in all its variety, we learn of his unfulfilled dreams, relationships with powerful patrons, and the truth about his views on God, humanity, and nature. The famous notebooks are the key to understanding the secret of Leonardo's success and genius, Kemp shows, as they clearly reveal the workings of his mind and display the truly innovative and investigative nature of his creative vision. In these notebooks, over 20,000 pages of drawings and notes detail his incredible discoveries and inventions--from the workings of the human eye to designs for flying machines and giant crossbows. Bringing the story up to the present day, Martin Kemp considers what he means to us today, investigates the "Leonardo industry," and speculates about what he would be doing if he were alive today. This updated edition of Martin Kemp's best-seller is the first book on Leonardo to include two newly discovered works, the most important such discoveries in over a hundred years.
About the Author
Martin Kemp is Emeritus Professor in the History of Art at Trinity College, Oxford University. The author of The Oxford History of Western Art and Leonardo, he appears frequently in the media.