Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Leonardo da Vinci

The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography.Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, care...

Details Leonardo da Vinci

TitleLeonardo da Vinci
Release DateOct 17th, 2017
PublisherSimon Schuster
GenreBiography, Nonfiction, History, Art, Science, Biography Memoir

Reviews Leonardo da Vinci

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    ”Although generally considered by his contemporaries to be friendly and gentle, Leonardo was at times dark and troubled. His notebooks and drawings are a window into his fevered, imaginative, manic, and sometimes elated mind. Had he been a student at the outset of the twenty-first century, he may have been put on a pharmaceutical regimen to alleviate his mood swings and attention-deficit disorder. One need not subscribe to the artist-as-trouble...
  • Matt
    “ How might you describe the tongue of a woodpecker?” And so it begins, in my ongoing attempt to learn more about important figures in history. This time, I turned to the latest biography by Walter Isaacson, exploring the life of Leonardo da Vinci. A man of many talents, da Vinci lived a full and exciting life as he sought to scratch the many itches that came to mind and paved the way for scores of significant discoveries. Isaacson offers a t...
  • Chrissie
    The audiobook is a fantastic production. It is in this manner non-fiction audiobooks should be made. You are given a huge PDF file with 144 pictures, a character list and a timeline. To get the most out of the audiobook one should sit by a computer and look at the pictures as one listens; the audiobook follows the pictures one by one in the order they are presented, each picture being referred to in the text. Each is minutely analyzed and discuss...
  • Darwin8u
    “he never finished any of the works he began because, so sublime was his idea of art, he saw faults even in the things that to others seemed miracles.” ― Walter Isaacson, Leonardo da Vinci This was an interesting biography, and an interesting approach, but it just wasn't great. Isaacson is one of those former editors of large, popular news magazines who can seemingly throw out a biography every couple years. He loves writing about transform...
  • Michael Finocchiaro
    Honestly, I preferred Serge Bramly's 1991 Da Vinci biography to this one by Isaacson. I read (and reviewed here on GR) his biographies of Einstein and Ben Franklin, and found them both really good. In the present work, the author is way too present in my opinion and pitches his Steve Jobs biography on nearly every other page. OK, I am exaggerating but only a little bit. Did I learn some stuff about my favorite Renaissance Man? Yes, I did and I di...
  • Melody Sams
    If you like a little psychology with your history, this is a book for you! It gives you a wonderful insight into the mind of one of the most fascinating men in human history. Da Vinci was quite the character. A bit enigmatic and mercurial. It was a delight learning more about his personality through this book.
  • Hajar Benmazhar
    Be curious, seek knowledge for its own sake, retain a childlike sense of wonder, observe, procrastinate…the life of Leonardo da Vinci does, indeed, offer a wealth of lessons.I’ve always admired Leonardo da Vinci’s artistic prowess (aka Leonardo from Vinci, I didn’t know that) and thought of him as a Renaissance genius. but I didn’t know his story and what made him the “Leonardo da Vinci”. Now I know that he was not only a genius but...
  • Netta
    Unlike many readers of this book who were well acquainted with Walter Isaacson and loved his previous works, I picked this biography being quite sceptical and absolutely unaware of how Isaacson approaches his subjects. His bibliography looks like a very impressive collection of genii of all sorts - Jobs, Einstein, Kissinger and Franklin. Surely, adding Leonardo da Vinci to this list must be tempting, but this task, if you ask me, was too difficul...
  • Barry Pierce
    Walter Isaacson never makes Leonardo out to be anymore more than a human being. He points out that art history can often descend into hagiography, especially when it comes to its greatest minds. Both Vasari and Kenneth Clark placed Leonardo on a god-like pedestal, untouched by any other human in history and in possession of a truly divine mind. Isaacson does his best to refute this. He paints Leonardo as almost painfully human, as a man who rarel...
  • Lou
    There is plenty to learn here about Leonardo DaVinci, and his art, its histories unravelled, codexes explained in ways, and the story of the process and people in the art work.Detail, details meticulously written by the author, almost with obsession like mastery and a hugely accessible reading.Mysteries of the man, the artist, scientist and engineer and the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and The Mona Lisa expounded in a glo...
  • Gary
    Walter is a storyteller....If you have read his other bios, you already know this. Same situation here...but I must warn you....Leonardo was a very complicated man....a genius in his art....kept copious notes about everything he thought, felt, and dreamed about....he was a scientist,way ahead of his time,and he used science in his art, and mathematics in his paintings. Walter included all the vast details, because that's the type of person Leonar...
  • Dana Aprigliano (TheVaguelyArticulateReader)
    Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. It is a 600 page-long biography which I read in a hardcover version so heavy it could probably shatter some bones if I dropped it on my foot. The pages are made of thick, glossy paper, and they are all littered with images of the pages of da Vinci’s journals, da Vinci’s various artworks, and more. The jacket, also made of a thick paper that I can o...
  • Janet
    Thank you, Net Galley for the opportunity to review this book --- as people who follow me know, I do not regurgitate what the book is about as that is what the description from the author and publisher at the top of the page are for.This book is very well written.This book is very longThis book has many interesting facts ... his paintings are mathematical and he was gay.Did I mention that this book is very long??? This book is full of insane deta...
  • Keep Calm Novel On
  • Jim
    "Leonardo went from seeking knowledge that could be of practical use and began seeking knowledge for its own sake, out of pure curiosity and joy"A magnificent and fascinating read of the life and times of one of the most brilliant human beings that ever lived. Walter Isaacson's starting point for this biography was not his art masterpieces (The Last Supper, Mona Lisa) but rather his notebooks that he left and which survive to this day. They conta...
  • Grumpus
    I don’t have a lot to say about this [edit: coming back after my draft, I see I was mistaken], but in keeping with my New Year’s resolution to put down into words something about each book I read this year, here are my rambling thoughts.First off, I heeded Chrissie’s advice, "To get the most out of the audiobook one should sit by a computer and look at the pictures as one listens." well, partial advice anyway. As much as I love audiobooks, ...
  • Joe
    Much of my review agrees with that stated by Netta in her review (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), though she writes it much more eloquently.Walter Isaacson presents the biography of Leonardo da Vinci, whose every action is so divine, that, surpassing all other men, it makes itself clearly known as a thing bestowed by God (as it is), and not acquired by human art. (Vasari, LIFE OF LEONARDO DA VINCI)Where, I believe, Isaacson struggles ...
  • Tony
    LEONARDO DA VINCI. (2017). Walter Isaacson. ****1/2.The first thing I’d like to share is that you needn’t be afraid of the size of this book. It runs to 525 pages, plus notes and index. With my experience of reading other Isaacon’s books (“Ben Franklin,” and “Einstein”) I know his skill with the written word. He has the ability to capture the reader’s attention in such a way that the pages whizz past without your knowing it. This ...
  • Joseph Williams
    I have read two of Isaacson's previous biographies (Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein). I particularly liked the Steve Jobs biography since the author was able to effectively get under his subject's skin due to his unique access to the subject. In the case of Leonardo da Vinci, Isaacson was unsuccessful in my opinon of bringing Da Vinci to life probably due to a lack of primary source material on the subject. That is always the bugbear of writing bi...
  • Farhana
    6 out of 5 :Dগত বছর ওয়ালটার আইজযাকসনের লেখা ২টা বায়োগরাফি পড়েছিলাম। I believe he is one of the finest biographers of our time with uncompromising impenetrable passion for his books. গত বছর থেকেই ওঁর লেখা নতুন এই বায়োগরাফিটা বের হবার অপেকষায় ছিলাম। ...
  • Carolyn
    This book is masterfully written, lavishly illustrated, and a prime example of intensive research. I had read The author’s biography of Steve Jobs, and also the Innovators which showed how collaboration through the years has brought us to the present digital era. I knew some of Leonardo’s workbooks, journals, sketches and finished paintings were lost to history, but was amazed at how much still remains after more than 500 years. The author s...
  • Menglong Youk
    4.5/5 starsI know Leonardo da Vinci from many inventions and paintings among which is the Last Supper, a portrait of Jesus Christ with his followers. This made me assume that he, Leonardo, must have been a devoted Christian like the majority during his time. Yet, despite being religious, Leonardo believed that God's creation can be understood via art and science, not the doctrine passed down by the church. This bit surprised me because having suc...
  • Diana Long
    Excellent in depth look at the life and times of one of the most brilliant human beings that graced the earth. I thought the author did an amazing biography and felt it was thoroughly researched and touched on so many areas of who he was and why he behaved as he did. Not leaving much in actual works of art, he left us his manuscripts and astounded as with his brilliant and curious mind. The many examples of his work and notes with explanations he...
  • allie (rosynovels)
    I recently took a course which focused on biography and really enjoyed the texts that had been selected; I wanted to continue reading biographies and Leonardo Da Vinci seemed like a fascinating subject.I still think Leonardo is most likely a fascinating subject, but this book is long and very little of it explores his personal life. About the first two hundred pages are almost entirely art analysis, and it gets quite dry quite quickly in my opini...
  • Adrienne
    This is more like a college textbook than an entertaining biography (but don't worry, Mr. Isaacson, I plan to continue reading every one of your excellent books), so if you are looking for something light, this is not for you. You have to study this book, refer to the photos, google the history and the main players, so it is a little bit of a chore. But it makes you smarter, so you should do it. 3.5 stars. Would have given it 4, but it really was...
  • Camie
    All of the stars !! Isaacson (author of the other award winning biography's Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin) does a splendid job here in his latest work. In this beautiful hefty book you'll experience a personal guided tour of the life and works of the man who can only be called a genius. You'll enjoy learning things you didn't even think you wanted to know and perhaps decide that endless curiosity can be a curated gift. Certainly mak...
  • Mohamed Omran
    والتر ايزاكسون هو افضل كاتب سير ذاتيه يجعلك تغوص في اعماق المبدعين والمشاهير لاانسي اول قراءه عن ستيف جوبز عبقري ابل وبنجامين فرانكلين. اينشتاين والتر يجمع مابين السير الذاتيه واسلوب الحكي الممنهج التي تتسارع فيه الرغبه داخلك لتعرف وتتعلم كيف اص...
  • Christine Nolfi
    A fascinating look at da Vinci's life and timeless art. Highly recommended.
  • Susan in NC
    This was amazing- I saw Isaacson interviewed on PBS NewsHour discussing his latest biography and his enthusiasm was infectious! I immediately requested it from my library and was number 8 or 9, and figured I might get it in March or April, but somehow I got it last week! I started reading right away, since I’m slow reading non fiction, then found the audiobook available through Scribd, read beautifully by Alfred Molina. It was a real treat to r...
  • Jeff
    The best anything I've read in some time.