Leonardo's Legacy: How Da Vinci Reimagined the World

Leonardo's Legacy: How Da Vinci Reimagined the World

Stefan Klein

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0306820080

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Revered today as perhaps the greatest of Renaissance painters, Leonardo da Vinci was a scientist at heart. The artist who created the Mona Lisa also designed functioning robots and digital computers, constructed flying machines, and built the first heart valve. His intuitive, ingenious approach—a new mode of thinking—linked highly diverse areas of inquiry in startlingly original ways, ushering in a whole new era.

In Leonardo’s Legacy, award-winning science journalist Stefan Klein provides “an illuminating new look at Leonardo’s unique genius” (Publishers Weekly), which delves into the brilliant, complex mind of this quintessential Renaissance man.

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because in the earliest recollections of my infancy, it seemed to me when I was in my cradle that a kite came and opened my mouth with its tail, and struck me within upon the lips with its tail many times.”10 That Sigmund Freud chose to interpret these words as a statement of Leonardo’s intensely erotic attachment to his mother and of his nascent homosexuality (mistranslating the Italian nibbio (kite) as “vulture” in the process) reveals more about Freud than it does about Leonardo. It is highly

they were complete. And as an engineer, he had to face the fact that he would never be able to realize many of his bold projects. But perhaps it is wrong to judge inventors by how many of their ideas come to fruition. Ultimately, the implementation of an idea is only a minor element in intellectual achievement. The crucial part is what precedes it. Behind every significant milestone is a new perspective on a problem. Coming up with this concept—a digital clock, for example—is arguably the actual

appears in an eerily pale light; Leonardo later painted over the chalk drawing with ink to add even more detail to the forces of destruction. Every wave is a deadly missile. High in the sky, clouds are brewing. Rain is beating down from them, but the rain never reaches the ground. The center of the wave of pressure between heaven and earth pushes the rain back into the clouds. We do not learn what unleashed the catastrophe. At the spot where the turbulence seems fiercest, a cliff side collapses,

Selection of diverse diaries and manuscripts compiled by Francesco Melzi ca. 1530; an abridged version was published as Trattato della pittura. Paris 1651. TrivCodex Trivulziano, Castello Sforzesca, Milan, Biblioteca Trivulziana MS N2162, 55 sheets, 195 x 135 mm. Facsimile edition: Il codice nella Biblioteca Trivulziana, ed. A. Brizio. Florence, 1980. VU Manuscript about the flight of birds, Biblioteca Reale, Turin, 13 sheets, 213 x 153 mm. Facsimile edition: Il Codice sul volo degli

of the Berlin State Library, the art library of the National Museums of Berlin, and the Biblioteca Leonardiana in Vinci. Giuseppe Garavaglia made available to me numerous documents in the Ente Raccolta Vinciana at the castle in Milan. Martin Clayton and Jean Cozens kindly granted me access to the private collections of Queen Elizabeth in Windsor Castle. My thanks go to all of them. The historian Jörg Deventer gave me valuable pointers on the social history of the early modern age and went to the

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