26 Oct
Taschen reprints their best-selling book of all time — about arguably the greatest mind of all time

The great Leonardo da Vinci has inestimable traces of his influence within endless realms of artistic and scientific institutions. The Italian archetype of the Renaissance man was not only a painter but a sculptor, architect, engineer, scientist, inventor, musician, botanist, geologist, cartographer, anatomist and writer. He could easily be God. Thus, it’s no surprise that leading art/design book publisher Taschen‘s best-selling book of all time documents the trials and tribulations of this astounding genius. This XXL-format comprehensive survey is the most complete book ever made on this High Renaissance Humanist, and includes huge, full-bleed details of Leonardo’s masterworks, allowing the reader to inspect the subtlest facets of his brushstrokes. Part 1 explores Leonardo’s life and work, referencing his letters, contracts, diary entries and writings. His paintings are also comprehensively presented and interpreted, featuring The Annunciation and The Last Supper on large double spreads. Part II covers all his surviving and lost painted works, including texts which expound on their states of preservation. This section includes every single painting that can be uprightly ascribed to Leonardo. Thanks to new findings and scientific research, this is the first time his definitive painting oeuvre is being published. Part III features an extensive catalogue of his drawings which includes 663 of his thousands of pieces. Over half of the drawings were provided by Windsor Castle, and the entire collection is organized by category (architecture, technical, anatomical, figures, etc.) This is the first time in history that Windsor Castle has allowed a publisher to reproduce so many of their drawings. This book is only the second edition of Taschen’s original best seller, discussing the most recent findings of Leonardo scholarship and debating controversial new attributions. Some images in this new edition not found in the old include the spectacular restoration of Leonardo’s Virgin of the Rocks in the National Gallery, London, his Virgin and Child with St Anne, in the Louvre, Paris, and the Mona Lisa in the Prado, Madrid. The most thoroughly and beautifully produced Leonardo book is finally available again, online for $200. It may be a hefty price for a book, but I came across it at a Halloween Party at a BALLER penthouse apartment in downtown Ann Arbor, and let me tell you the book was truly gorgeous. So much in fact that drunk me somewhere between 7 and 12 orange Jell-O shots deep almost picked it up, until sober me realized it weighed almost 20 pounds and would have hated myself if anything but a dent was made in the enchanting hardcover frame of Leo’s masterfully documented life. All said, this book is well worth $200 dollars.

 

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