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The Genius of Leonardo Hardcover – Illustrated, 30 Sep 2000


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'1490. Giacomo has come to live with me. He is ten years old. He is a liar, a thief and a greedy brute.' Leonardo Da Vinci's description of his mischievous new apprentice has survived the centuries to fire the imagination of writer Visconti, who has made Giacomo and his enquiring mind the focus of this charming, informative and exquisitely illustrated biography. The young boy follows and learns from his master as he paints his masterpieces, frees the caged birds of the marketplace and explains the workings of the universe. The illustrations of award-winning artist Landmann, whose previous work was selected as one of the Smithsonian's 1999 Notable Books for Children List, are a dreamlike medieval tapestry of captivating power. Including many of Leonardo's original words and sketches of his inventions, this entertaining biography will ably comunicate to a young mind the genius and humanity of a man who was centuries ahead of his time.' --Kirkus UK

'Thought-provoking and utterly fascinating, The Genius of Leonardo is also a stunningly beautiful book. Giacomo, da Vinci's young assistant, tells of his time with the artist, subtly drawing attention to the extent to which he was startlingly ahead of his time.' --The Guardian

'The genius of Leonardo da Vinci is conveyed in a warm and entertaining tale at the heart of which is the relationship between Leonardo and his apprentice Giacomo. The illustrations are full of fascinating details, inviting us into the everyday world of Leonardo. The clarity of line and earthy colours are ideally sited to locating the tale evocatively within the Florentine architectural landscape. The challenge of such a biography to get across the extent and variety of Leonardo da Vinci's genius without resorting to a mere list of his achievements is brilliantly met both in the tale and in the book's frame of a double page at the beginning and end full of Leonardo's sketches... This is a wonderful book, to be enjoyed again and again by readers far outside the publisher's suggested ages of 8 to 12.' --Montessori Magazine

About the Author

Guido Visconti was born in Milan, Italy, in 1955. After taking a degree in literature and philosophy, he worked as a school teacher in Italy for several years before moving to India in 1985. He now directs a village school in India with his wife. The Genius of Leonardo is Guido Visconti's first Barefoot Book. Bimba Landmann is the highly acclaimed illustrator of A Boy Named Giotto (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999), which was selected as one of the Smithsonian's Notable Books for Children list, 1999, and which has also won prestigious awards in France and Germany. She is also the illustrator of Journey into the Blue Night (Edizioni Arka, 1997), which won first prize at the Premio Nazionale Val Vibrata. Bimba is married to the art critic Paolo Guarnieri, and lives in Milan, Italy.

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The first rays of sun had not yet appeared in the east, but Giacomo was already up. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyed it despite myself 14 Oct. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
When I first saw the cover and title for this book, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like it. The illustrations did not remind me of Leonardo Da Vinci. I was ready to be disappointed. Instead, I was surprised when I found myself enjoying the book. I like the portrayal of Leonardo and his apprentice. The genius of the man is portrayed while still keeping him imperfect. Leonardo doesn't have answers for all of life's questions. Still, the book reminded me how fascinating math and science can be while reminding me why the Renaissance is such a fascinating time in history. All around, this is a wonderful book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Six Stars! 14 Mar. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The illustrations by Bimba Landmann are amazing, making the book a work of art. The text is meaty, telling us a lot about Leonardo and his ideas (with direct quotes). Kids will relate to the mischievous character of Giacomo, Leonardo's 10-year-old assistant, who frequently annoys his famous boss. I would recommend this book for anyone age 6 to adult!
Awesome 23 Dec. 2011
By M. Heiss - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful story biography of Leonardo, with illustrations by Bimba Landmann that grab your eyes and make the story more intense. This book presents a likeable, personable Leonardo that your child will connect with.

Vocabulary builders: surpassed, cosmos, portraits, furious, genius, mysterious, eavesdrop, illuminates, deprived, center of gravity, ideal, calculate, barbaric, equestrian, fresco, alter, technique.

Great for any age.
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