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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

VINE VOICEon 21 August 2010
This book is a pleasure to read. The content is fascinating and the quality of reproductions is of the highest standard. I defy anyone to look at the full page reproduction of the 'La Bella Principessa' drawing/painting on page 25 and not be moved by the beauty of the image. Words like exquisite and sublime can often be overused - but not in this instance. If you want to better understand and appreciate the talent of the artist look here (rather than the 'Mona Lisa'). If you want to know more about the way in which attribution of a work can be arrived at then I suggest you read this wonderful account which combines the expertise of art historians and scientists.
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VINE VOICEon 16 February 2012
Excellent dissection of a masterpiece.

Clear and easy to follow (I don't mean child-like) explanation of why this drawing is believed to be by Leonardo. Where it fits in style-wise, and who the most likely sitter is as well as an overview of the 15th century court of Ludovico Sforza.
Basically the book is split into two sections, the first style and sitter the second the physical and scientific evidence. Both sections are extremely well illustrated with good, clear and informative colour photographs throughout. Some 190 pages long plus index and notes with lots of colour photos.

I found it absolutely fascinating and unputdownable, it's a long time since I was this sorry to come to the end of a book. I only hope someone writes a similar work about the `new' Leonardo painting that I saw at the Leonardo exhibition the other day in London

UPDATE : 29/12/15 : I saw a newspaper article recently which suggested that this drawing is a modern fake. Obviously I have no idea if this is the case or not, it will be interesting to see if more information on this is forthcoming.
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on 7 January 2011
Leonardo never ceases to astonish! After all these centuries, one more artistic miracle.

A "new" work of art by the Renaissance genius comes to us courtesy of three great experts: Professor Martin Kemp, Leonardo's renowned specialist (cf. also his Leonardo da Vinci: The Marvellous Works of Nature and Man;Leonardo; et al.); Pascal Cotte, the engineer optician who performed the multi-spectral authentication of this rediscovered masterpiece; and finally, Paul Biro, the forensic professional who matched a fingerprint found on La Bella Principessa to the great Florentine polymath.

What a coup! Originally sold for a pittance, this work is now worth close to two hundred million pounds. Imagine the current owner's joy: this extraordinary portrait of a tender and melancholy young lady (perhaps the illegitimate daughter of Milan's Duke Ludovico Sforza - Testamento Di Lodovico Il Moro (1836)) has resurfaced to our great delight. I hope to be able to admire it in one of its future displays as it goes on tour around the world, so that I may say with Shakespeare... "with my love's picture then my eye doth feast". Meanwhile, I can savour it through this splendid book.

The human being can really create wonder and beauty, when they're not wasting their time destroying each other. Actually, and come to think of it, Leonardo did produce ideas on war machines and killing instruments... didn't he? Well, there you are, Good and Evil in the creative mind of an immortal genius!
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on 11 December 2015
The book was a wonderful read. Fascinating and gripping - lovely purchase
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