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Leonardo's Notebooks (2005)

Leonardo's Notebooks (2005)

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3.98 of 5 Votes: 5
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1579124577 (ISBN13: 9781579124571)
black dog & leventhal

About book Leonardo's Notebooks (2005)

Review:I never knew who da Vinci was. It was only after watching the movie, The Da Vinci Code, I came to understand that Leonardo da Vinci was a person who creates puzzles for his time pass. He also drew few paintings like Mona Lisa and The Last Supper (during that time, I didn't even know what was the significance of the painting).Slowly, there after I came to learn Leonardo was no puzzler (person who creates puzzles), but an artist. It is only after I read this book, I came to understand the reason behind his fame. The text in this book has literally swept me off my feet. Though the methods he exercised were bizarre and awkward to understate. (He got the general of the army to strip all this clothes and made him lie stark naked to draw some painting!!)Description (From the jacket - hand typed):For everyone who has read and enjoyed Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, here is an exceptional insight into da Vinci's inner world, in his own words and images.The notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci - a treasure house of unparalleled ingenuity, curiosity and creative energy - have inspired their readers for centuries. Fascinating and tantalizing their readers for centuries. Fascinating and tantalizing by turns, the individual pages of the notebooks, densely covered with da Vinci's sketches, jottings, calculations and detailed diagrams, are among the most prized possessions of the world's great art collectors.Painters, sculptors, engineer; mathematician, philosopher, inventor; architect, anatomist and naturalist - da Vinci's talents are seemingly endless. This is new selection from the notebooks, bursting with imagination and quirkiness, sometimes cryptic or even incomprehensible, is the perfect introduction to the mysteries of Leonardo da Vinci. Those who know him as the celebrated painter of The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa will be astonished and intrigues by this sparkling testament to one of greatest minds of Western Civilization.My take on the book:I rated this book four. And I rate da Vinci the whole five!!For me, before I read this book, painting was something way over my head. There are some painting I came across which are like a baby's puke of different colours on a canvas and that would price over a million rupees! Anyone can mix some colours and throw them on a canvas and call it a painting.After reading this book, there are two................To read the whole review, click here...

Editor H. Anna Suh has provided a wonderful glimpse of a genius & one of history's greatest artists, Leonardo da Vinci, through the medium of reproductions from his notebooks. Despite some drawbacks, I felt as though I were sitting with a venerable old expert who was personally sharing in snippets the fruit of a long life of observation & practical experience. For one who had no formal schooling -- "book learning" -- as so many of his colleagues had, the warmth & accuracy of his genius, not just as an artist but as a human being, shine through. Had he lived in our century, he'd have been right up there with the likes of Steve Jobs & Bill Gates, to mention only two, & probably even further ahead of them!The book is filled with reproductions of the original writing & drawings in the notebook which he carried with him. He was always observing, always comparing, always perfecting his art. His mind must have constantly clicked along at a 100 mph! He even alludes to "practicing" painting/drawing techniques mentally in the darkness before falling asleep. Leonardo somehow learned very early on that by establishing some very fundamental bases & principles, then by practicing over & over, & by experimenting, one equipped oneself with all that was needed to be "useful". In the last section, "Philosophy, Aphorisms, and Miscellaneous Writings", he says: "Movement will cease before we are weary of being useful. Movement will fail sooner than usefulness…In serving others I cannot do enough. No labor is sufficient to tire me. Hands into which ducats and precious stones fall like snow; they never become tired by serving, but this service is only for its utility and not for our own benefit. Naturally nature has so disposed me. I am never weary of being useful."Unfortunately, most of what Leonardo writes in the notebooks is exceedingly technical & not always easy to understand. The reproductions & sketches are small & difficult to make out. But I don't know if or how one could improve on this, given this books parameters.

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Most of the original text and sketches have of course been lost either by time or by Leonardo's own design (he deliberately corrupted his own texts to keep his competitors from stealing his works). It is a true shame that this knowledge is lost.Any free kindle edition is easily worth 4 stars. It is a rare treat to see Leonardo's mind at work. He was one of the most gifted intellects ever created and just watching how he 'pieced' the workings of life and the known universe together is worth the time and study.Devlin
—Devlin Scott

This is a very beautiful book. It's over-sized and would be lovely on a coffee table for browsing. There is a very good, very short introduction to the book, but the book really speaks for itself. It has photos of his notebooks and translations of his notes.What I liked:The pages of his notebooks, some were just so fascinating to study, even though I can't read Italian (even if you could read Italian he writes in in reverse and you would need a mirror to read it).I was surprised by some of his notes, for example, he studied how shadows were different from different objects and how they fall, with multiple objects. I was surprised because it seems like common knowledge, yet perhaps in his day, it was not.He was a scientist and an artist, it is on every page of his journals, he was always learning and using that in his work. I find that art and science are so far apart these days and it is almost taboo for artists to use technology/science in the creation of their work.My favourite section of the book was the section called Obervations & Order with his notes on Anatomy, Botany & Landscape, Geography, and Physical Sciences and Astronomy. But this book covers so much, On Painting, Light and Shade, Sculpture, Metalwork, Architecture and so much more.What I didn't like: This book is exactly what it claims to be and I can't find any fault with it. As a graphic designer I might have laid the content out differently, but that is simply a small nitpicky point. This would be a great gift book. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in DaVinci or in art. I give it 4 out 5 stars.

A really cool read. This is essentially just a copy and organization of Leonardo's notes. It isn't anything more, but that is enough. His study and notes on the human body are amazingly thorough. He clearly studied life and was a master of observation. He was also very confident in his work and abilities. He also had little tolerance for those who look down on artists and under value art. I enjoyed this statement very much, "I know that many will call this useless work; and they will be those of whom Demetrius declared that he took no more account of the wind that came out of their mouth in words, than that they expelled from their lower parts."

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