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Leonardo Da Vinci: 1452-1519: The Complete Paintings and Drawings (Taschen 25th Anniversary) Hardcover – August 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

""Opening this lavishly illustrated book is one of sumptuous celebration of the visual aspects of Leonardo's oeuvre.""

About the Author

Professor Frank Zollner wrote his doctoral theses on artistic and architectural theory (1987) and Leonardo da Vinci (1996). He has written numerous publications on the art and artistic theory of the Renaissance and on Paul Klee. Since 1996 he has been Professor of Renaissance and Modern Art at Leipzig University. Johannes Nathan studied art history at New York University and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1995 with a dissertation on the working methods of Leonardo da Vinci. He has taught at New York University and at the University of Berne, Switzerland, and is the author of a range of publications on the art of the Italian Renaissance.
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Product Details

  • Series: Taschen 25th Anniversary
  • Hardcover: 695 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen; 25th edition (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3822838276
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822838273
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 2.5 x 15.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,117,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By T. Mario on October 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Taschen seems to be forging ahead in the publishing world with their off-beat, sometimes extreme, always interesting and esoteric attractively priced books. Leonardo is one of them. A large book, this is no bedside table read. The print quality is very good, and the larger than life pictures of Leonardo's paintings and drawings give you a real sense of the intricacy that went into his work, and lets you get a lot closer than you could today to his work if you wanted to see it live. The Mona Lisa is behind bullet proof glass, most of his notebooks in temperature controlled libraries far from prying hands and eyes.. so if you really want to get close, to see the brush-strokes and minute scrawls in his ink drawings, then this book is it.
For who is it? Anyone interested in beauty, in art and painting, as well as anyone interested in genius and the multifaceted Renaissance man. You'll need a sturdy coffee table or a large library to house it, but you won't be sorry you bought it.
I only gave it 4 stars because I really dislike the 25th anniversary badge that is going on all Taschen books of late.. Good for you that you've reached that milestone Taschen, but don't expect me to want to advertise it in my bookshelf. The book comes in a slip-case, and just as well because the Amazon.com packaging was really atrocious and the box arrived quite banged around. Their cost-cutting in packaging means that my slip case is totally destroyed on the top, but thankfully the book has managed to survive (mostly) unscathed. Amazon will be getting a stern letter from me about this..
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By James N. Welch on August 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you don't know much about art but know what you like, this might be the sort of book for you. Leonardo's life is described in this basic biography, focusing on his famous works of art (finished and unfinished) and on his supporting works as well (sketches, architectural and mechanical ideas). The book is printed on glossy high grade magazine paper with color illustrations on almost every page. It brings the artist and his works to the reader in a presentation that caters to those who enjoy have an appriciation, though not an expertise, for art.
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35 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Eugene Tenenbaum VINE VOICE on October 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
In ISBN 3822859796 (paperback 'Leonardo Da Vinci, 1452-1519 (Basic Art)' of 2000), some painting and drawing works are reproduced too dark with murky spots, where most details are indistinguishable. Additionally, the colors are distorted by a brownish (sepia) hue. So, on many dark works only basic elements are visible, e.g.: The Virgin of the Rocks on p. 28 and 31, Portrait of a Young Man on p. 48, The Last Supper on p. 53 as well as Burlington House Cartoon (too dark cartoon) on p. 60. Other works may also be affected. The Last Supper is divided between two pages connecting through Christ's face, and a whole center of the fresco is sunk in a groove between the pages. The printing is good, and on good paper. Poor color reproduction is quite common in Taschen's art books published up to early 2000s.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Kean on November 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is one of the best coffee-table books I have ever bought. The very best part of it was that this book cost about $80 and the other books that were exactly the same cost between $600 and $800. I don't know why this happened, but I'm very glad it did. The book is perfect and helpful and provides a layman a small understanding of what was going on with one of the greatest minds in history.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By bluezoo7 on February 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After a recent trip to Italy I scoured the museums there for some good books on the famous paintings I had just seen. All were much too expensive, given the value of the Euro versus the dollar. So I made a list of the books I liked and vowed to purchase them on Amazon when I returned home. This was one of those purchases.

The book is big (over a foot long, three thumbs thick) and heavy. You won't be taking this to the park to read. Great for a coffee table. There are a good mix of close-ups and detailed shots of Da Vinci's work. The text includes some good history of the works (why they were commissioned, some info about the subjects, etc.). It also showcases some of Leonardo's student's work, which they more or less copied from their teacher.

The book does include some detail about the work themselves and how the time in history impacted the works. My only regret (and why I didn't give it five stars) is that the book doesn't include more text about the details of the works themselves, ala "Da Vinci Code". For example, I'd love more explanation of the symmetry between certain figures or other curious features of Leonardo's work (why is that angelic figure holding its hand like a knife where John the Baptist's head should be in "Madonna of the Rocks"?)

Overall, worth the money for those that enjoy contemplating the works of this Master.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rodigo C. B. on June 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book covers all paints from Leonardo and the codex drawings. The size of some paintings are so big and you coud examine the strokes of the brush in the painting. For me this is the big deal of the book. The size of the pictures and a great biografy of Leonardo from Frank Zollner. I think, in my opinion this is the best book about Leonardo on store.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James Ashley on August 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'm going to buy shares in Taschen, I think...

I was pretty darn happy from the moment I pulled this book out of its slipcase. So many well-reproduced illustrations of Leonardo's paintings and drawings and really interesting text too. It's one of my favourite art books in my collection.
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