This fascinating exploration of Leonardo's life and work identifies what it was that made him so unique and explains the phenomenon of one of the world's most celebrated artistic geniuses who, five hundred years on, still grips and inspires us. Martin Kemp offers us exceptional insights into the mind of this exemplary Renaissance man, and into the 'real' meaning behind such masterpieces as the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. Tracing Leonardo's career in all its variety, we learn of his unfulfilled dreams, relationships with powerful patrons, and the truth about his religious views. Kemp shows that it is the famous notebooks that reveal both the secret of Leonardo's success and his genius, as they clearly show how his mind worked and display the truly innovative and investigative nature of his creative vision. Containing over 20,000 pages of drawings and notes, they detail Leonardo's incredible discoveries and inventions, from the workings of the human eye to designs for flying machines and robots.Bringing the story of Leonardo up to the present day, Martin Kemp considers what he means to us today, investigates the burgeoning 'Leonardo industry', and speculates about what he would be doing if he were alive now.
The book concludes with an invaluable thumbnail reference gallery of all Leonardo's paintings.