Leonardo da Vinci

By Walter Isaacson
Read by Alfred Molina

17.02 Hours 10/17/2017 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781508241997

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    ISBN: 9781508241980

“Majestic...Isaacson takes on another complex, giant figure and transforms him into someone we can recognize...Enthralling, masterful, and passionate.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “A monumental tribute to a titanic figure.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) He was history’s most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us? 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, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy. He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history’s most creative genius. His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from having wide-ranging passions. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history’s most memorable smile. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo’s lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions. Leonardo’s delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it—to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

“Majestic...Isaacson takes on another complex, giant figure and transforms him into someone we can recognize...Enthralling, masterful, and passionate.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A monumental tribute to a titanic figure.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

He was history’s most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us?
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, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.

He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history’s most creative genius.

His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from having wide-ranging passions. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history’s most memorable smile. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo’s lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions.

Leonardo’s delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it—to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Alfred Molina’s narration is easy to follow…The author’s sometimes detailed passages seem natural, and Molina’s cultured accent adds to the listening pleasure without seeming like an affectation. His fluency with Italian names helps keep the reading flowing. The PDF is a visual treat and is referenced throughout the work, so listeners will want to refer to it regularly to get the full benefit of the author’s analysis. Nonetheless, the reading stands on its own. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile
“To read this magnificent biography of Leonardo da Vinci is to take a tour through the life and works of one of the most extraordinary human beings of all time and in the company of the most engaging, informed, and insightful guide imaginable. Walter Isaacson is at once a true scholar and a spellbinding writer.” David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
“A powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life….the book is a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it.” New Yorker
“[Leonardo] comes to life in all his remarkable brilliance and oddity.” Washington Post
“Majestic…Isaacson takes on another complex, giant figure and transforms him into someone we can recognize…Enthralling, masterful, and passionate.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A monumental tribute to a titanic figure.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Steve JobsEinstein: His Life and UniverseBenjamin Franklin: An American Life, and Kissinger: A Biography.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 17.02
Audience: Adult
Language: English