Janet 's Reviews > The Da Vinci Legacy: How a 16th Century Solitary Genius Became a Global Pop Icon

The Da Vinci Legacy by Jean-Pierre Isbouts
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2019ng-when-i-read, k-e-k, artsy-crunchygranola

I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.

For the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, an acclaimed art historian and an art connoisseur uncover how this elusive artist became a pop icon with megastar status in modern times.

Virtually everyone would agree that Leonardo da Vinci was the most important artist of the High Renaissance. Although he produced few finished works, it was Leonardo who singlehandedly created the defining features of Western art: a realism based on subtle shading; depth using atmospheric effects; and dramatic contrasts between light and dark.

What has never been told before, however, is how these revolutionary inventions were inserted into the bloodstream of Western art—and how they made Leonardo the internationally-renowned icon he is today. This is the great mystery of Leonardo’s legacy: if his tangible output was so limited, how did his mystique as a solitary genius survive five centuries of European history? And why does it continue to fascinate us in modern times?

The Da Vinci Legacy is the first book to unravel this mystery by taking an immersive journey through the art, literature, science, and politics of Europe, from the Renaissance to today. Through captivating text enhanced by one hundred colour images, this book takes off where Walter Isaacson’s portrait of Leonardo left off. It captures not only the reason for the enduring allure of The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper but also explores the secrets of Leonardo’s creativity and the strange phenomena that intervened to make sure Leonardo was not forgotten to the dusty pages of history.

The release of the book will coincide with the broadcast of The Search for the Mona Lisa, a dramatized documentary scheduled for broadcast on Public Television in May of 2019.


The "da Vinci Code" brought the painter to this mindset and conscience of many people whether by book or movie and this book extends on this stream of consciousness. The book is very wordy and not for the faint of heart but if you are an information fanatic like I am, you will inhale the book and take much out of it. I certainly learned a lot as I sped read through it and I cannot wait for the TV show to come out on PBS to learn some more.

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by Millenials on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨
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Reading Progress

March 25, 2019 – Started Reading
March 25, 2019 – Shelved
March 25, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019ng-when-i-read
March 25, 2019 – Shelved as: k-e-k
March 26, 2019 – Finished Reading
April 13, 2019 – Shelved as: artsy-crunchygranola

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