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Thoughts on Art and Life

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  196 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A fascinating collection of writings from the great polymath of the Italian Renaissaince, Leonardo da Vinci. There are sections covering the great man's thoughts on life, art and science. Maurice Baring trawled the available manuscripts to distil da Vinci's writings on these subjects into a single, accessible tome, which will be of interest to students of da Vinci, the Ren ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published September 8th 2009)
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I enjoyed these notes written by DaVinci himself. What an amazing mind. Everything from a discussion of the five senses and consciousness -- termed "common sense," by Da Vinci -- to a vivid description of how to paint a battle scene, to a discussion of science and flight. DaVinci claims that words are not as powerful or as long lived as a painting, but I sense his personality from reading his words, and he is able to describe as vividly as he paints. Truly one of the great human minds.
Matt Holmes
Dec 09, 2015 Matt Holmes rated it it was amazing
I'll level with you. I read this book because of Da Vinci's Demons. Don't think this a stab at culture or pretense or anything.

That said, the book was surprisingly engaging, considering its age, and the fact that, between the ciphers and the terse, rambling tone, it was obviously never intended for public viewing. It's divided into three parts: Views on Life, Views on Art, and Views on Science.

His views on life were easily my favorite. It was packed with pithy aphorisms of the kind that even bi
Feb 20, 2015 Kacey rated it really liked it
Just about everyone knows Leonardo da Vinci for his paintings, but not so many know him for his inventions, his work with the military and his experiments. This book shares his thoughts on a lot of different subjects, and I think is a great insight into this influential man. We do get to see him observing the world around him and how he perceives things like the moon and stars, the five senses, the animal kingdom, etc.

While I read this book on Kindle, I regret not having a physical copy so I cou
Natalia Lupușor
Feb 10, 2013 Natalia Lupușor rated it liked it
...most of the book is about the supremacy of painting as compared to other forms of art... it is clearly visible that Leonardo da Vinci did not plan to publish it, many ideas are repeated in several instances, with almost same wording. still the book contains some interesting insights...
Jul 27, 2011 Keifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and a good read, but Leonardo is a little too focused on explaining why painting is better than poetry, or sculpture, or other art forms.
Jul 19, 2015 Robyn rated it really liked it
I had started this book back in 2012 & just read a few pages of it at a time for several weeks or months. But I picked up reading on 7-18-15 where I left off back in 2012, & was able to finish the next day (for my weekend reading material at work).

This book was translated & compiled very well. It doesn't follow much of a distinguishable storyline, just random thoughts & observations DaVinci wrote in notebooks. Some would've been more interesting to see the pictures & diagrams
Susan Mills
Jan 10, 2015 Susan Mills rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing read!

Leonardo was a deep thinker who was interested in almost everything. His comments on different subjects are FASCINATING and demonstrate how the mind of this genius operated.
Abdullah Rifai
Dec 31, 2015 Abdullah Rifai rated it really liked it
Thoughts on life:

Thoughts on art:
Grethel Ulang
Jan 17, 2015 Grethel Ulang rated it really liked it
I got to finish it... finally. It's a very interesting read for someone who is truly fascinated with Da Vinci. It’s a compilation of his manuscript translated and deciphered from his many scattered and fragmentary codices, which most probably have been written in reverse. Knowing him to be the real genius, it feels great to be, somehow, getting inside his mind upon reading his work. Though some parts can be tedious to comprehend, I would recommend this to those who are into/studying the arts.
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It was on April 15, 1452, that Leonardo was born in the town of Vinci, Republic of Florence, in what is now in Italy, the illegitimate son of a notary and a barmaid. It is from his birthplace that he is known as Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo seemed to master every subject to which he turned his attention: he was a painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, and engineer, wrote poetry and stories: the p ...more
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“as a well-spent day gives, joy in sleep
so a well-spent life brings, joy in dying”
“I abhor the supreme folly of those who blame the disciples of nature in defiance of those masters who were themselves her pupils” 10 likes
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