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Leonardo's Notebooks Paperback – October 1, 2009
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About the Author
H. Anna Suh has a master's degree in art and archaeology from Princeton University. She was on the curatorial staff of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has worked on projects for scholarly publications at the Met, New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, the Princeton University Art Museum, and Harvard University. She lives in New York City.
Top Customer Reviews
da Vinci's Notebooks contain some of the more far-reaching thinking of his day, ideas about flight, acoustics, astronomy, and architecture that weren't completely realized for centuries after his death. These are the notes of a genuine genius, a man who not only understood his art but also understood anatomy on a scientific level far beyond the scientists of his time.
But all of this is merely fact and information we have all known for a long time. The reason for recommending this particular volume is the quality of illustration control, the footnotes, the capable translations of da Vinci's notes, and the generous manner in which the material is laid out on the page. This is not only, then, an important book exploring da Vinci's history and mind, it is also an homage to the master's drawing, philosophy, and genteel brain that dared to explore areas of thought long before others attempted. Of all the versions of the da Vinci Notebooks, this is the most artistically sound and readable. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, November 05
If you want a book specifically about Leonardo's notebooks, however, this book is all-too truncated. There simply aren't enough representations of his work to really "dig in" and see how he was able to cross intellectual barriers while retaining the same perspective. You'll get a handful of examples, and if you bought any of dozen or so similar books you'll mostly see the same examples repeated in each one.
My recommendation to anyone wanting a semi-thorough collection (for no full collection exists to my knowledge) is to hunt around your local antique and used book stores. I was able to acquire a massive volume of Leonardo's works, called simply Leonardo Da Vinci (published in 1956 by Reynal & Company) which has around 1,500 examples of notebook pages and various sketches along with essays and descriptions in each of the major fields (human and animal anatomy and physiology, warfare, engineering, structures, and more). It cost about twice as much as a modern collection (such as this one) and is many, many times more thorough. I only wish such thoroughness was more readily available and didn't require months of searching.
In all, this book (which I gifted to a friend who didn't ask as much of it as I did) is worthwhile if you only need a glance at Leonardo's notebooks. If you want to take a good look, you'll need to do so elsewhere.
This makes it hard to understand the meaning of the drawings compared with the translated text, because Leonardo's letters(in the drawings) doesn't look like anything from the Roman alphabet. So when the meaning of the letters that appears in the drawings are mentioned in the text, you can't understand what letters goes with what in the drawings, because the text ONLY use the Roman alphabet(and NOT Leonardo's letters as seen in the drawings).
In other words, to fully get the whole meaning of Leonardo's writings and drawings you do need a "Leonardo - Roman alphabet" dictionary.
This is a major set back, and the worst is that the author could have avoided this so easily.
Other than that the book is amazing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful book, lots of reproductions of actual notes and sketches.Published 16 days ago by Tanya C.
THIS IS THE BOOK YOU WANT! If you want all of his image in large format, this is the book for you! Paperback makes it more "portable"Published 5 months ago by Gemini 11