Monday, April 15, 2019

Five of the best books about Leonardo da Vinci

Jonathan Jones writes on art for the Guardian and was on the jury for the 2009 Turner prize. His books include The Loves of the Artists: Art and Passion in the Renaissance, The Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo and the Artistic Duel that Defined the Renaissance, and Sensations: The Story of British Art from Hogarth to Banksy.

At the Guardian he tagged the best books about Leonardo da Vinci of the last 500 years, including:
One of the reasons Vasari’s [The Lives of the Artists, 1550] blend of history and fairytale still works is that Leonardo and the Renaissance Italy that produced him are almost too exotic for scholars to portray. That’s why the most approachable introduction to the Tuscan prodigy and his world may be through Sarah Dunant’s well-researched historical novels. In the Name of the Family (Virago) is about the artist’s ruthless patron Cesare Borgia, the pope’s son who tried to conquer Italy. We encounter Leonardo working for Borgia as a military engineer – will his fortifications be ready in time or will he get distracted by some other invention?
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue