Customer Review

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great images, good history, February 8, 2008
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This review is from: Leonardo Da Vinci: 1452-1519: The Complete Paintings and Drawings (Taschen 25th Anniversary) (Hardcover)
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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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 12, 2008 3:29:24 PM PDT
Antiquarian says:
The reason I like this book is that it doesn't have any "da vinci code" junk in it. It's an academic book about the codices and not some fictitious "code". Frankly where he put things in a painting and the colors he used says more about his sense of good 2D design than a conspiracy. Perfect book if your looking for something educational not entertainment.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2009 7:03:55 AM PDT
bluezoo7 says:
I would agree with Antiquarian's thoughts and expand by saying I'm not looking for conspiracy, but more of "the inside story". Why did LDV use particular colors in a work? Why is there specific symmetries in his painting? I don't want any codes deciphered, just more explanation of the reasoning behind these works. This book doesn't quite get to that level. Still a great book for learning!
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