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

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...
  • Bill Gates
    Shortly after Melinda and I got married, I told her I was bidding on a notebook that could wind up costing a lot of money. “Don’t you already have a great portable computer?” she asked.I explained that by “notebook,” I meant the old-fashioned kind. And by “old-fashioned,” I meant really old-fashioned, as in more than 500 years old. The notebook in question was one of the 32 surviving journals of Leonardo da Vinci.After I won the bid...
  • Hannah Greendale
    Marvelous! Isaacson's comprehensive biography is written to delight, to inform, and to inspire curiosity. Video review to come in my March Wrap Up.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Matt Tandy
    Walter Isaacson has delivered an immensely readable, detailed and thoughtful biography on Leonardo DaVinci. With many pictures and sketches from DaVinci, the reader is really able to experience the richness of DaVinci’s talent as his extraordinary life story is told. And a story this is, as while Isaacson has done a tremendous amount of study from many different sources, this doesn’t read like an academic study. The book is always engaging, e...
  • ♥ Ibrahim ♥
    The reason Leonardo has appealed to me is because I’m immensely charmed by the idea of a Renaissance Man, men who make no distinction between science and art, men who believe that the “infinite works of nature” are woven together in a unity filled with marvelous patterns. That’s why I LOVE Benjamin Franklin too and see him as a role model for my life, as he was a Leonardo of his era, and while he had no formal education,he taught himself ...
  • Esmerelda Weatherwax
    I love Walter Isaacsons biographies, they are always engaging, never dry, and I learn so much while being thoroughly entertained because it reads more like a novel many times rather than a dry non-fiction feel to it.Leonardo is obviously one of the most world renown artists ever born, but there’s so much I didn’t know about him.What I loved most was learning about his personality, which I knew nothing about. Sometimes when learning about one ...
  • 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...
  • Keep Calm Novel On
  • 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...
  • Kimba Tichenor
    This book simply did not hold my interest, as there is too much idolatry and not enough analysis. Words, such as "wondrous," "brilliant", and "ingenious" should be used sparingly, even when discussing Leonardo da Vinci. Otherwise when something truly is wondrous, the reader will no longer care or believe.
  • Jeanette
    Marvelous. This life was magnificent beyond any telling for his unique and kind (but often rascally) genius of such multiple skills and talents of mind set into a time that was both cruel and beautiful. It's beyond my ability to describe Leonardo's scope. But the only star loss for the rating was in the weight and stiffness of the pages in this book. It was nearly impossible to hold and many of the photo plates/ pages so rigid I could not lay the...
  • 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। ...
  • Peter Mcloughlin
    A very accessible and lavishly illustrated biography of Leonardo. This is the only bio I have read directly on Leonardo but Isaacson does a good job of putting Leonardo's life in a fairly good context of his times. Well done. The artistic illustrations are worth the purchase of this book alone.
  • Rahul Matthew
    The Greatness of this man lies in his quirkiness!!;
  • 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...
  • 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...