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Da Vinci's Ghost : Genius, Obsession, and How Leonardo Created the World in His Own Image,9781439189238

Da Vinci's Ghost : Genius, Obsession, and How Leonardo Created the World in His Own Image

by
ISBN13:

9781439189238

ISBN10:
1439189234
Format:
Hardcover
Pub. Date:
2/7/2012
Publisher(s):
Free Press
List Price: $26.99
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Summary

Toby Lesterthe award-winning author of The Fourth Part of the World, celebrated by Simon Winchester as ;a rare and masterly talent ;takes on one of the great untold stories in the history of ideas: the genesis of Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.Everybody knows the picture: a man, meticulously rendered by Leonardo da Vinci, standing with arms and legs outstretched in a circle and a square. Deployed today to celebrate subjects as various as the grandeur of art, the beauty of the human form, and the universality of the human spirit, the drawing turns up just about everywhere: in books, on coffee cups, on corporate logos, even on spacecraft. It has, in short, become the world's most famous cultural iconand yet almost nobody knows about the epic intellectual journeys that led to its creation. In this modest drawing that would one day paper the world, da Vinci attempted nothing less than to calibrate the harmonies of the universe and understand the central role man played in the cosmos. Journalist and storyteller Toby Lester brings Vitruvian Man to life, resurrecting the ghost of an unknown Leonardo. Populated by a colorful cast of characters, including Brunelleschi of the famous Dome, Da Vinci's Ghost opens up a surprising window onto the artist and philosopher himself and the tumultuous intellectual and cultural transformations he bridged. With sparkling prose and a rich variety of original illustrations, Lester captures the brief but momentous time in the history of western thought when the Middle Ages gave way to the Renaissance, art and science and philosophy converged as one, and all seemed to hold out the promise that a single human mind, if properly harnessed, could grasp the nature of everything.

Author Biography

Toby Lester is a contributing editor to and has written extensively for The Atlantic. A former Peace Corps volunteer and United Nations observer, he lives in the Boston area with his wife and three daughters. His previous book, The Fourth Part of the World (2009), about the map that gave America its name, was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers Award and was picked as a Book of the Year by several other publications. His work has also appeared on the radio program This American Life.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Prologue: 1490p. 1
Body of Empirep. 13
Microcosmp. 42
Master Leonardop. 63
Milanp. 92
The Artist-Engineerp. 108
Master Buildersp. 126
Body and Soulp. 159
Portrait of the Artistp. 190
Epilogue: Afterlifep. 218
Further Readingp. 227
Notesp. 231
Works Citedp. 247
Acknowledgmentsp. 255
Permissions and Creditsp. 259
Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


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