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Leonardo da Vinci: The Complete Paintings Hardcover – November 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810935813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810935815
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 11.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this magnificent book, Pietro Marani, the director of the project to restore Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, presents all the artist's known paintings. The history and significance of each are analyzed at length: we read, for example, that "from a very early date, Mona Lisa was considered among Leonardo's most extraordinary accomplishments, one that made every other artist 'tremble and lose heart.'" Context is provided by a wealth of related paintings and sketches. The presentation is extravagant: double foldouts show frescoes in their entirety, and small areas are hugely expanded to give access to a world of sensuous detail. The intimacy of these extreme details--a tiny blue landscape glimpsed through a window, or the warm flesh of a baby's foot resting on its mother's arm--is unexpected, and one of the book's many successes.

Marani combines connoisseurship with the technological tools of art history, such as x-ray exploration of revisions in a painting's underdrawings. He has spent his life studying Leonardo's paintings firsthand, so closely that he can point to where the artist lightly blurred layers of paint with his fingertips to suggest the soft skin around the eyes of his portraits of women. A chapter is devoted to Marani's belief that Leonardo was profoundly influenced by ancient artworks rather than being exclusively the "modern genius" described by Romantic critics. The research is fully footnoted, with appendices including checklists of paintings and lost paintings and a collection of all known primary documents referring directly to Leonardo's life. From its enigmatic cover (the lips of the artist's exquisite portrait of Ginevra de' Benci) to its extensive bibliography, Leonardo da Vinci comes the closest this reviewer has seen to being the ultimate art book. --John Stevenson

From Library Journal

Although Marani addresses the whole of da Vinci's fragmentary and limited oeuvre and then some, this volume is in no way a traditional catalogue raisonn?. With a profound familiarity with the relevant scholarship and a keen sensitivity to the paintings, this volume is nevertheless partial and idiosyncratic in its treatment and definition of the master's work. While sharply aware of the paintings' nuances, graphic analogs, and relationship to Renaissance and antique art, the author betrays an inattention to compositional and pictorial innovation, iconographic content, and the problem of the non-finito, which diminishes this work's value as an introductory text. Similarly, the influence of classical sculpture on the later paintings, an important topic worthy of some discussion, is overemphasized. Despite a comprehensive gathering of excellent reproductions, this is a necessary acquisition only for collections serving advanced students of Vinciana.ARobert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Every Da Vinci's painting is displayed and explained in full details and colors.
Gustavo H B Alves
This is worth purchasing and the paperback is cheaper and lighter and it reads well.
Anso
I love Leonardo's paintings, I've had the pleasure of viewing some in the Louvre.
D. Lane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Gustavo H B Alves on January 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have no words to describe what I felt enjoying this book. Worth every single dollar it costs. You will never regret buying it and browsing it whenever you wish to. Every Da Vinci's painting is displayed and explained in full details and colors. Starting with Leonardo's apprenticeship in Verrocchio's shop until his first autonomous works, Pietro Marani's book is a must buy not only for all Da Vinci's fans worldwide but to all people who love true art. Don't waste your time with gossip books and stuff... read this book, and you won't be sorry. Never. I assure you. In Brazil, where I live, you don't find such a book easily. Thank God there's Amazon.com to bring me such a treasure as this masterpiece.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By David Adams on September 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
No matter how other may rave about this book, you must beware the paperback size. It is so much reduced from the hardcover that the print is difficult to read. With my reading glasses it is possible, but without them, it is all a blurr. I would definitely recommend the purchase of the larger hardcover version.
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61 of 66 people found the following review helpful By HOLLY B. WILLIAMS on December 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND COMPLETE ART BOOK I HAVE EVER SEEN. I WAS AN ARCHITURE MAJOR FOR A WHILE IN COLLEGE, I TOOK MANY ART HISTORY COURSES; BUT, NONE OFFERED THE INFORMATION IN THIS BOOK. THERE ARE SEVERAL FOUR-PAGE FOLD OUTS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL AS THOUGH YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE REAL THING -- ORIGINAL ART.
THIS MAGNIFICENT VOLUME ALSO CONTAINS ALL THE SKETCHES AND WORK SHEETS THAT LED UP TO THE FINAL PRODUCTION.
I AM WRITING THIS FOR ANYONE IN DOUBT ABOUT BUYING THIS BOOK. BUY IT, YOU WON'T BELIEVE HOW BEAUTIFUL IT IS UNTIL YOU SEE IT. (AMAZON.COM DIDN'T PAY ME TO SAY THIS.)
THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE MY THOUGHTS. I LOVE THIS BOOK!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By D. Lane on January 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought this book pretty much as an impulse buy. I was very glad I did! I love Leonardo's paintings, I've had the pleasure of viewing some in the Louvre. I think it is such an amazing gift to be able to reproduce observation, providing insight into an individuals sense of consideration and emphasis. These last two are a requisite for style, along with skill in execution, which almost like text must convey clarity with the gradual perfecting in time, we have something most profound. I often find myself contemplating the pictures in this book, and being a scientist more than an artist, I was curious as to how it affected me so. Our sense of achievement is in part appreciated on the point that we can follow a path to the point of completion with the appreciation of the process rather than the end point attained. Now to understand and appreciate anothers achievement would require a sound and deep empathy of anothers 'travelled path', with Leonardo and others I just cannot empathise and understand how one can attain to something so majestic and magnificent I'm literally in awe, hence the belief that it is something beyond the sum of its parts (its make-up) - a gift. This book presents the wonderful works of this man and what is conveyed in the art. It is a little understanding of the personality and character of a unique time and individual. A great book!
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By Anso on July 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book is small but thick. Pictures of paintings are a decent size, print is smaller yes, but still very readable. I prefer a paperback it is easier to store in the bookcase and not as heavy. Each section has an epilogue with a bibliography for further study. The pictures show close ups of the faces in paintings including the Last Supper. You can clearly see how badly that painting has worn and faded over 500 years. This is worth purchasing and the paperback is cheaper and lighter and it reads well.
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