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The Last Leonardo: The Secret Lives of the World's Most Expensive Painting

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  11 reviews
An epic quest exposes hidden truths about Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi, the recently discovered masterpiece that sold for $450 million—and might not be the real thing.

For two centuries, art dealers and historians searched in vain for the Holy Grail of art history: a portrait of Christ as the Salvator Mundi ("Savior of the World") by Leonardo da Vinci. At last, in 200
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Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by Ballantine Books
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  • The Last Leonardo by Ben Lewis
    The Last Leonardo: The Secret Lives of the World's Most Expensive Painting
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    Release date: Jun 25, 2019
    An epic quest exposes hidden truths about Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, the recently discovered masterpiece that sold for $450 million—and might ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 25 copies available, 2193 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jun 25 - Jul 24, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    4.03  · 
    Rating details
     ·  39 ratings  ·  11 reviews


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    Sue
    The Last Leonardo is an exhaustive look at one painting, Salvator Mundi, thought to be a previously unacknowledged original by Leonardo da Vinci. In this detailed “life of” the painting, Lewis presents a useful biography of Leonardo along with background on his painting techniques over time and his “school,” the artists who learned from and worked with him. Lewis also follows Leonardo’s travels from city to city as he moves from the favor of one leader to another.

    All of the above information is
    ...more
    Netta
    If this is the only book about Leonardo da Vinci that you ever read, don’t waste your time. You’d be lost in the crazy, shadowy world of those who love Leonardo, study Leonardo and dare to write about him, eliminating myths and lies (though more often creating them). If you already know who Leonardo was and why there’s so much fuss around him, and you want to get a glimpse of the world surrounding him and his myth, go for it.

    Ben Lewis had a mammoth task to place into context the world’s most ex
    ...more
    megan
    Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Not sure who the intended audience was for this book, which would have benefitted from more rigorous editing. It explains basic art world concepts so is clearly not intended for specialists, yet gets into minutia relevant to only select art historians, so doesn't seem like a piece for general readers, either. I finished reading because it was in my possession but didn't enjoy it, and say that as an art historian who typically devours art-related trade books with enthusiasm.
    Claudia
    Jul 20, 2019 rated it liked it
    Sold for $450 million dollars at auction in 2017, this version of Salvator Mundi set a new high price for a piece of artwork. Yet controversial because experts can not agree if it was actually created by Leonardo da Vinci, one of his apprentices or just an unknown artist from the early to mid-1500's. Also, the amount of restoration that was necessarily done to this heavily damaged piece makes some feel it was more of the restorer's work rather than the Italian legend.

    The author shifts between th
    ...more
    Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
    Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2019
    For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

    The Last Leonardo: The Secret Lives of the World’s Most Expensive Painting by Ben Lewis is a non-fiction book about Leonardo da Vinci’s small oil painting the Salvator Mundi, sold at auction for $450 million. Mr. Lewis in an author, documentary filmmaker and an art critic.

    This book popped up on my reading radar a day or two after the famous Sotheby’s auction where the painting the Salvator Mundi, attributed to Leonardo da
    ...more
    Mary Rose
    Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    My full review can be found on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK4G7...

    The Last Leonardo is a refreshing look at one of the most curious works of art that has surfaced in the art market lately. This was not my first encounter with the Salvator Mundi, as I worked as an art dealer and followed the case closely when it was being shopped around. Later, in 2017 when it broke the record for the most expensive painting ever sold, I had some serious doubts.
    The book is divided into roughly
    ...more
    Jquick99
    Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
    I would have liked this so much more if it was edited down about half. I’m very interested in the topic, but really thought it dragged down in telling the back story. There’s also repeating of information which didn’t help.

    I also don’t like it when the author involves himself into the story, and wish this was edited out.

    And, maybe I missed this, but I had to look up what Salvator Mundi meant, since it seems there’s a bunch of pictures with this name (Latin for 'Savior of the World'). With all t
    ...more
    Michael
    Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Fascinating insight into the history of art dealing through the frame of the story of the Salvator Mundi. Full of interesting historical events and commentary on the corrupt relationships between dealers, museums and owners. Extraordinary.
    Onceinabluemoon
    Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
    Interesting bit of art history, listened to audio and was only luke warm even though I normally would devour books like this. I was obsessed with the British pronunciation of renaissance, tried as I might could not perfect it, funny how the mind works when listening with headsets...
    Heather Bennett
    Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
    The Last Leonardo is a interesting and informative book on the most expensive painting and the story behind it. Ben Lewis has done his research and the book is well written.
    Dawn Myers
    Jul 03, 2019 rated it liked it
    Amazing research.
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