Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind

Leonardo da Vinci Flights of the Mind In this engaging and thoroughly researched biography Charles Nicholl uncovers the man behind the myth of the great Renaissance master At times a painter sculptor inventor draftsman and anatomist

  • Title: Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind
  • Author: Charles Nicholl
  • ISBN: 9780143036128
  • Page: 167
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this engaging and thoroughly researched biography, Charles Nicholl uncovers the man behind the myth of the great Renaissance master At times a painter, sculptor, inventor, draftsman, and anatomist, Leonardo s life cannot easily be summarized And yet, Nicholl skillfully traces the artist s early days as an illegitimate child in Tuscany his apprenticeship with VerrocchIn this engaging and thoroughly researched biography, Charles Nicholl uncovers the man behind the myth of the great Renaissance master At times a painter, sculptor, inventor, draftsman, and anatomist, Leonardo s life cannot easily be summarized And yet, Nicholl skillfully traces the artist s early days as an illegitimate child in Tuscany his apprenticeship with Verrocchio in Florence his service with some of the most powerful Renaissance families his relationships with Michelangelo and Machiavelli and his final days at the French royal court In addition, Nicholl looks beyond the well known stories of Leonardo s famous masterpieces, and gives us a glimpse into the artist s everyday life We learn of Leonardo s penchant for jokes, his fascination with flight, his obsessive note making, and even what he ate Nicholl weaves these details together in a fascinating portrait that goes far towards revealing the enigmatic figure who continues to fascinate present day readers.

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    About "Charles Nicholl"

    1. Charles Nicholl

      Charles Nicholl Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind book, this is one of the most wanted Charles Nicholl author readers around the world.

    622 thoughts on “Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind”

    1. To write a biography of Leonardo that does not make the reader feel uselessly unaccomplished and inadequate, or dewy eyed with adoration, is quite a feat. Of course Leonardo considered himself something of a failure, but that’s just poppycock on his part; though it is worth pondering why he was so unsatisfied with his countless accomplishments, just as it is to ask why Thomas Aquinas near the end of his life considered all his writings to be so much straw.* This is a portrait in the Leonardo m [...]

    2. “All biographers secretly want to annex and channel the sex-lives of their subjects”, writes Julian Barnes in his novelesque biography of Flaubert and continues, “you must make your judgment on me as well as on Flaubert”. Apparently, writing Leonardo da Vinci biography, Charles Nicholl wasn’t aware of that. Though being a different kind of a biography reader, I did not intend to make any judgment on Mr Nicholl. Until I finished his book with, I must confess, a little a lot of skimming. [...]

    3. I strongly discommend this book. If you're looking for a good, comprehensive book on Leonardo da Vinci, I'd recommend you to continue your search.I've read a number of reviews on a number of different books on Leonardo, to find the right one for me, and ended up with this one because of its high average rating. However I must admit that it was a huge disappointment, for the following reasons:1. Even though Leonardo led a pretty chronological life, the author skillfully manages to mess up the tim [...]

    4. Really loved this. I can't imagine there being a more exhaustive book on da Vinci. Nicholl goes over all that is known about his life and works and while managing to give all the facts, also indulges in a lot of "what if's" and context, all of which brings what could otherwise be an overly dry and academic book to life. The world that he lived in is vividly described and the broader cultural and political movements are all given full consideration. And where gaps in the knowledge exist, he gives [...]

    5. Leonardo da Vinci’s biography with a very detailed description of his work. A stream of citations and details that mostly, if not only, concern those who want to study da Vinci in detail rather than read about him. Several published reviews claimed that this is an easy book to read, while in fact it is anything but. I’d recommend it to students and teachers who deal with the subject and da Vinci’s era but not ‘amateur’ da Vinci readers.

    6. "How could you describe this heart without filling a whole book?" -written by Leonardo under an anatomical drawing of the human heart.EDIT: This book changed my life, and when I reread an earlier version of the review I felt like I didn't do it enough justice. This book brings you back to Quattrocentro Italy at the start of the renaissance, which not only fostered new ideas and innovations, but also meant the crumbling of basically all conventional beliefs and knowledge. Leonardo was born out of [...]

    7. It was a bit of a slog to make it through this biography. The overall outline of Leonardo's life and works was interesting, and I appreciate the author's frequent citations of contemporary sources, but I was less than impressed with how he went about interpreting the sources and filling in the details.The author was definitely most interested in Leonardo Da Vinci as a painter. He speculates about the origins, possible models, and hidden meanings of Leonardo's paintings ad nauseum while giving a [...]

    8. This. Book. Is. EVERYTHING.I actually just had to force myself not to cry, because I'm so overwhelmed. (And maybe because he dies at the end of the book. Well, duh!)Y'know, all those fandom trash people will probably understand me. Don't you sometimes think about that one fandom in that strange way which suddenly makes you realise that all of this is not real and will never ever be? And then you get really sad or hit by that really heavy melancholy? This is what Leonardo da Vinci feels like for [...]

    9. Leonardo da Vinci was truly a fascinating man and this book does an excellent job of highlighting his unique brilliance. In an age of the Renaissance man, da Vinci managed to stand out, not an easy thing to do among the other famous men of his day: Michelango, Raphael, Bramante, Cesare Borgia, three different popes, etc. He lived through tumultuous times with the exile of the Medici and Sforza in Florence and Milan, respectively, and then their return years later. The French and the young violen [...]

    10. For some reason I have recently been on a big Leonardo kick and I have read a few biographies. This one has been by far the best. It is scholarly and very well researched but is also very readable and rewarding. The author succeeds very well at creating a whole and believable person out of the myths and legends that surround a man like Leonardo. The book is filled with many drawings and painting details and contains a large section of color slides. This is really one of my favorite books now.

    11. After I came back from Italy I became obssessed with anything to do with Leonardo Da Vinci. On my bookshelf I must have 10 or so books about him. This is my least favorite book as it is not a true picture of the man as a whole. This book only deals with his life in art, not in technology, religion of the mysteries surrounding his involvement in the Iluminati. I can recommend better books.

    12. This was an interesting book. The author presents Leonardo's life from a number of perspectives including his notebooks, his art, public documents, other people's biographies, etc. The reader is left with a patchwork vision of what Leonardo's life must have been. The author's technique reminded me of academic study regarding the historical Jesus, but the author doesn't give much in the way of formal explanation for how he evaluated the credibility of his various sources. It might be interesting [...]

    13. High 3. Nicholls has painstakingly researched the minutiae of the note-books which constitute as much of the great Renaissance man’s legacy as do his magisterial works of art. As such, the author has provided valuable insights and theories on how both can proffer a more detailed picture of the man behind the myth. Thus, Nicholls explores signature works for any clues which they may hold relating to the attitudes and lifestyle of the artist. The reader is also given the most revealing interpret [...]

    14. The biography is based on journals that Da Vinci kept, in addition to secondary sources of information. I found the inclusion of things like Leonardo's grocery list a little tedious at times, but I appreciate how much detail the author included for the reader's benefit. I started reading this book as most people would, from the beginning to the end, and ended up putting it back on the shelf for awhile. I picked it up again and skipped to the chapters I was most interested in and ended up reading [...]

    15. What an incredible character and so multitalented. This biography of Leonardo charts his life and some of the key incidences of his childhood and career which painted him into the picture her was. The book goes into a lot of detail about some of the more political elements of his life which I found a little boring to be honest but I could also see how that added context to his paintings also. It describes some of the incredible subtleties in some of his greatest paintings which were very interes [...]

    16. Excellent book about an amazing person. It manages to paint da Vinci in a human light, even if it doesn't know every aspect of the man's life. A bit long for me, but the dude did a lot of stuff.

    17. For nine years this book has been on my nightstand. I started it, finally, in September. And only got 50 pages inI just can't.

    18. Historically excruciating detail down to a moving list with too much speculation by author -- otherwise an interesting account of the man known as Leonardo Da Vinci

    19. This book was a thoroughly researched biography with a specific desire to understand Leonardo the man. Given the lack of documented history, speculation is inevitable and may conflict with the romantic view of Leonardo. Enjoyed the author’s thought process and narrative which challenged my assumptions

    20. I was really surprised by this book. I was expecting something dry and dusty but it's eminently readable, very interesting and I actually feel like I've learned something. Admittedly more about the politics of Renaissance Italy, but it's still something.

    21. Ογκώδες, κουραστικό και φλύαρο. Το ολοκλήρωσα με δυσκολία, απλά και μόνο για να το ολοκληρώσω.

    22. "The great lesson of [Leonardo's] manuscripts is that everything is to be questioned, investigated, peered into, worried away at, brought back to first principles.""Leonardo was'the most relentlessly curious man in history'.""The proper way to experience nature alone. 'While you are alone your are entirely your own; and if you have but one companion you are but half your own.'""'Those who take for their standard anything but Nature, the mistress of all masters, weary themselves in vain.'""'[C]on [...]

    23. What is there left to say about Leonardo da Vinci? He is one of those figures from history about whom little more can be found, another Rasputin or Roman Emperor, and yet the words keep flowing, the books keep appearing.In fairness to Charles Nicholl, he may not have unearthed any revelationary ‘with new evidence from recently opened archives’ material (the timeless justification for another biography of Josef Stalin), but he does pull everything that is known together with a rare clarity an [...]

    24. Не самая легкая для прочтения книга. Тем, кто желает узнать как стать таким же гением как Леонардо, будут очень сильно разочарованы. В основном, в этой книге повествуется, хотя немного и в суховатой форме, о жизни и становлении Леонардо и кратком описании истории создании ег [...]

    25. Leonardo da Vinci is one of those figures from history it's easy to take for granted. His work, or pieces inspired by his work, is so ubiquitous and there's a reason for it: the man was a goddamn genius. I know, you're thinking: "Yeah, I know that." Do you though??? I thought *I* knew, until I read this book and learned the scale of how brilliant da Vinci was. For one, the man invented robots yes, Middle Age robots. More specifically, he created a robot knight and a robot lion, which were more l [...]

    26. "The cage is empty; the mind has flown." This is how Charles Nicholl ends his biography of Leonardo da Vinci. Nicholl seeks the real Leonardo, not the hagiographic Renaissance superman; indeed, while he concedes you cannot write about Leonardo without using the word "genius," he avoids it at all costs. To Nicholl, Leonardo is a complex man just like any other. Born out of wedlock, he has at best a distant relationship with his father. His career is marked more by what he does not complete than b [...]

    27. I spent a lot of time with this biography, reading one short chapter or two at a time, sipping it like a fine Tuscan wine. I'm not proud of that analogy, but I'm sticking with it. That might have turned out to be the best possible way to read it, a little at a time without getting bogged down in too many small details; trust me, there are a lot. Nicholl makes constant references to Leonardo's abundant notebooks, trying to find traces of the man, his character, and his life to go along with all o [...]

    28. I learned a lot of things that I did not know about Leonardo da Vinci. This book is quite scholarly and very well written. It has two sections that include his paintings in glossy paper and many more drawings and works strewn throughout the book.I was not aware of his personal failings. Mostly he was bad with money and bad with completing projects on time. Even through all that he was much admired in his time; although the Mona Lisa didn't become super famous until someone stole it back in 1911 [...]

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