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5.0 out of 5 stars Leonardo da Vinci - first scientist, 7 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Leonardo da Vinci : The First Scientist (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book tremendously & rated it 5-stars because it was written from a different perspective other than most Artists' view that focuses on method & techniques of the particular work in question. It went into the cause of things that influenced his life & from which Leonardo expressed himself.
Personally, until reading this book, I was only aware of Da Vince's art work through art journals and museums; including Le Clos de Luce in Amboise in the Loire France where models of his civil & military engineering concepts are exhibited.
It became clear in reading this book that Leonardo's engineering capabilities were part of his pursuit of science that we seldom hear about.
He had great observation in which he had the greatest talent of all - to draw/sketch in detail those observations; the anatomy of man but also that of birds. We realise more & more in reading this book that his 'artistic' skills were a great tool that he used to document his finding much like a scientist today would use a computer.
You realise that he was hundreds of years ahead of his times in discoveries that should be attributed to him. He was accurate with dissecting of the eye, heart, kidneys etc., but especially in the way he documented his findings after his relentless research of that specific subject. This man was truly scientific in his approach & very thorough and accurate in his method of analysis with the tools at his disposal. He never claimed to have a total knowledge of what made man function but exposed what he could for others to go further; unfortunately his notes on his works were not available to the hoi polloi of the time.
What we come to realise is that he was commissioned to paint and did so because he needed money to live. However, he turned down commissions and never finished most because his passion was truly in research, discovery and science.
This book is great in exposing the other side of his being. It also puts you into the context of the time he lived in and his patrons (Medici, Sforza the Duke of Milan etc.) which completes the book with all the necessary trimming.
I would recommend this book for all people who have an open mind and would like to know a bit more about the greatest scientist of the Renaissance period and of the next several hundred years that followed
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Jun 2013 17:40:17 BDT
Shoeman says:
As a member of the Leonardo da Vinci Society and a lifelong addict of the man. I was staggered when I started reading the preview.
I thought that someone who has researched the subject and therefore purports to be an expert on the person he has studied, could at least have the correct date of his death. Which for Mr White's information was the 2nd May 1519 not the 23rd April as written. Since it was on the first line of page one I did not feel the need to read any further.
T.H.Edwards (Leonardo fan)

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2013 21:32:03 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Jun 2013 21:32:48 BDT
Too bad - there may have been other mistakes to signal out, but it was worth reading nonetheless to have gotten another perspective to which you may have then added your review/critic that would have shed more light on the subject. All the best.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2013 14:42:27 GMT
Joe Blogger says:
You have spotted a literal. A letter cited for the birth of Leonardo later which identifies 15 April as the date of the artist's birth. This is the date one sees elsewhere. There are other mistakes of detail: Mont Ventoux spelled without a "t" for example. However, the book seems a good general introduction to an important aspect of Leonardo's output. You might try reading it and learn something.
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