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Leonardo: The Artist and the Man Paperback – Illustrated, March 1, 1995
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Original Language: French
About the Author
Serge Bramly is a novelist, ethnologist, screenwriter, art critic, and historian of photography. He has published more than 20 books, including Macumba, a study of Afro-Brazilian religions; La Danse de Loup, a historical novel; and several works of art history. In 1992 he collaborated with Bettina Rheims on the book Chambre Close.
Sian Reynolds was born in Cardiff and taught at both Sussex University and Edinburgh University before serving as Chair of French at Stirling University from 1999–2004. She has translated numerous books from the French, both fiction and nonfiction, including works by crime writer Fred Vargas.
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from a seller on Amazon, thinking they were different books. I prefer the hardback "Discovering" edition and it costs the same or less here on Amazon as the paperback "The Artist and the man" edition. Best way to avoid this problem is to click the "Look inside" option if available to see if the first chapter begins with same words.
By the way, there is no mention of the Priory of Sion.
Bramly is very engaging. He can tell a tale that grips you. I suggest reading the first chapter about DaVinci's wizened self-portrait. The whole books reads like it. Admittedly, he read emotions into DaVinci that we cannot verify. This is no different that what Steven Ambose or Fawn M. Brodie have done with their biographies. It helps the presentation of the material, even if fudges the facts a bit. People do have emotional lives, and we would react similarly in similar situations.
Another of Bramly's strengths is that he puts DaVinci's life in the context of Renaissance Italy. The Boot was very different than today, made up of the independent city-states. It was the milieu that Machiavelli wrote about in "The Prince." It was among these warring princes, and DaVinci's patronage by the Medic family that helped underwrite his famous works. DaVinci's life is almost a political thriller and he moves from city-state to city-state and mingling with the great men.
Other reviews have commented on this books scanty biography material, and the many diversion into politics and so forth. This is because we have so few detail's about DaVinci's day-to-day life. We do not have the usual memories, diaries, and documents that we would have for a contemporar5y person. All we have are the notebooks, the biography made a few years after DaVinci's death, and the masterworks themselves. To his credit, Bramly works around this paucity of material in such a way that you do not notice it.
This book has B&W images from his astounding notebooks, and several pages of color inserts. There is only one flaw-the Mona Lisa is one of the images in B&W. This is more than a shame, and I hope it can be corrected in future editions.
Bramly devotes a hefty section dealing with DaVinci's homosexuality. He also includes some rather graphic images from his notebooks, and a rudely funny homage to the male member. Parents who home school their children may want to use another biography of DaVinci, since this material is college level.
I recommend this book. His has the right vide and fell for DaVinci's life and history. I think one of his best moments what when he made a connection between Massacio's painting of the inverted Peter being crucified, and the Virtuvian Man. After tracking down the images on the internet, I was dumbfounded about how right he was. Thank-you Bramly.
Leonardo: The Artist and the Man covers the real life and era of this legendary painter, sculptor and inventor. Sorting out the life of this genius must have taken the author years to conclude, as Leonardo left thousands of manuscripts, sketches and unfinished paintings behind. Throw into the mix the fact that most paintings have been finalized by his helps and restorated throughout the centuries by incompetent painters and you've got yourself a huge mess to sort out.
Yet this book grabs the core of the man Leonardo. He was versatile, untiring, dedicated to learning and not confined to just one trade. Apart from being a great book to read, you can really learn something from it. As Leonardo always figured, everything is in relation with each other. Although jobs are far more professionalized nowadays, this is still very much true.
So if you're interested in his works or if you want to learn more about one of the legendary historic figures the 16th century had to offer, grab a copy of this book. It will not only extend your own boundaries, but is a great read as well put into a delicate perspective by the writer.
Most recent customer reviews
This readable biography of Leonardo is revealing. It doesn’t completely endorse the fifteenth century genius.Read more