Becoming Leonardo: An Exploded View of the Life of Leonardo by Mike Lankford

By Mike Lankford

Why did Leonardo Da Vinci depart such a lot of of his significant works uncompleted? Why did this resolute pacifist construct warfare machines for the infamous Borgias? Why did he hold the Mona Lisa with him all over the place he went for many years, but by no means really end it? Why did he write backwards, and was once he particularly at struggle with Michelangelo? And used to be he homosexual?
In a booklet not like something ever written concerning the Renaissance genius, Mike Lankford explodes each cliché approximately Da Vinci after which reconstructs him in accordance with a wealthy trove of obtainable evidence—bringing to lifestyles for the fashionable reader the fellow who has been studied via students for hundreds of years, but has remained as mysterious as ever.   
looking to envision Da Vinci with no the obscuring residue of historic varnish, the points of interest, sounds, smells, and believe of Renaissance Italy—usually lacking in different biographies—are all the following, transporting readers again to a global of warfare and plague and courtroom intrigue, of viciously aggressive well-known artists, of murderous tyrants with beautiful tastes in paintings ….
Lankford brilliantly captures Da Vinci's existence because the compelling and hazardous experience it kind of feels to have really been—fleeing from one sanctuary to the following, by some means surviving in struggle zones beside his pal Machiavelli, suffering to make artwork his manner or no approach in any respect ... and infrequently paying dearly for these decisions.
it's a exciting and soaking up trip into the lifetime of a ferociously devoted loner, whose art in a single approach or one other represents his noble uprising, supplying concept that's undying.

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And thirdly, contrary to the usual view of him as a fastidious gentleman, he had a huge tolerance for stink. And more than anyone else I can think of, Leonardo seemed a man willing to wait for inspiration and insight. He seemed willing to study a thing until it spoke to him and revealed its secrets. This flies in the face of modern production values, especially in the arts, but Leonardo was his own guru, and following his uncle’s example, seemed content to take his time and get it right. In part I attribute this to his (apparent) lack of concern for the opinion of others.

Leonardo wasn’t going there. Too deliberate, too cautious, fearful of rejection, already second-guessing everything. Then there was his writing problem as well. Opening his own shop would not be easy and he was in no hurry to start. It was easier to work on Verrocchio’s projects. It left him more free time. The problem with this avoidance was that he didn’t get the encouragement and connections others got early on, and he became instead a man who increasingly produced more for himself than for others.

Herbs were collected for medicinal and maybe entertainment purposes. Did his grandmother keep a garden? Collect recipes? Caterina? Francesco? Nature was an open book of knowledge, endlessly complex and varied to him who had the eyes to read it. Leonardo learned to see by looking ever more closely at those things around him. The discovery process had to do with revisiting a thing over and over until it revealed itself. Any bee or snake was its own little world of complexity and well worth study.

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