- Hardcover: 696 pages
- Publisher: TASCHEN (February 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3822817341
- ISBN-13: 978-3822817346
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.8 x 20 inches
- Shipping Weight: 19.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 139 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,047,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Leonardo da Vinci: Complete Paintings and Drawings Hardcover – February 1, 2003
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Lying open, this unutterably wonderful book is almost the size of the Mona Lisa and about as hefty as a slab of The Last Supper's monastery wall. All 34 paintings are here (including what we know of the lost ones), many with huge and immensely illuminating details, plus 663 drawings. The reproductions are stunning, on paper sturdy enough to serve as wings on some of the flying machines depicted on pages 644 to 671. The precision of the images amazes: the delicate petals fingered by the larger-than-life-size baby Jesus in Madonna of the Carnation; the wailing, dismembered victims of Leonardo's scary scythed chariots; Mary's transparent drapery in the Annunciation; the bands of sunlight streaking each swirling curl of Ginevra de Benci; Mona Lisa's gossamer veil and intricately embroidered gown; even, unless my eyes deceive me, one of the fingerprints Leonardo famously left while daubing paint by hand.The text by Frank Zollner (and Johannes Nathan, who discusses the drawings) teases out meanings and sketches historical context without overloading his scholarly brush. Without it, one might have overlooked the dim crucifix on which St. Jerome fixes his blazing gaze, and quite misunderstood the sexist Hippocratic delusions that inform The Sexual Act in Vertical Section: "A tube-like duct leads from the womans breasts to her womb, while the male organ is directly linked not only to the testicles but also to the brain." (Zollners discussion of the erotic subtext of some of the artwork suggests that Leonardo's male passion was not necessarily so rational.) The brief accounts of Leonardo's esthetic combat with Michelangelo and Raphael suggest that you don't need a scythed chariot to cut off an opponent at the knees. The famous quotes by everyone from Nietzsche to Warhol are well selected, especially Freud diagnosing Leonardo's genius as residing in his childlike sense of play. That's a key to the spirit of this book: it's more fun than a week in the Louvre. Tim Appelo
"...the wealth of Leonardo's surviving drawings provide an extraordinary direct and intimate view of the artist's hand...." -- World of Interiors, London
"A scholarly work and a sensual delight...offering a moth's-eye-view and the ability to "enter" the works of art..." -- Associated Press, New York
"Sumptuously made and beautifully produced, is the most thorough Leonardo comprehensive survey ever published." -- Soloarte, London
"[N]o better catalogue raisonné of the paintings - scrupulous in every respect - it has no equal currently in print." -- Brian Sewell, The Evening Standard, London
"[S]tart making serious room on your bookshelf. The XXL tome features supersized blowups of Leonardo's works.... A truly sumptuous undertaking." -- artnet.com, New York
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It's bigger and heavier than I expected it to be (over a foot long and wide), but it was beautifully done and the size helps to portray Leonardo da Vinci's art on a larger perspective than a standard-sized book could ever hope to capture.
I attended a traveling show on Leonardo machines and I saw this book there for $200 with a curious little sticker on the plastic wrap that said "Updated with the latest scholarly references'. I brought it home and much to my susprise, I found that this book was available again on Amazon for $130. I also discovered a 25th aniversary edition of the same title. The 25th aniversary edition is just a shrunken version of this beheamoth. About 1/3 of the size. You find all kinds of page number differences between the volumes/editions. Dont be fooled. The 25th and the 2004 editions have the same content and the 2012 edition even has the same number of pages but with updated pictures and text. Turns out this edition, that is available right now, has the same ISBN # as the previous 2004 edition but does not show a publish date of 2012. Confused?
Dont be. This is THE latest BOOK you want and it is fabulous! I am blown away and astounded at this collection. I cant express my grattitude enough to the publisher, for supplying me with such a beautiful, expanded, detailed copies of this man's work. thank you Tashen and Mr. Zollner