This excellent book focuses on Leonardo's drawings in the Royal Library at Windsor. Everyone has seen the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, but Leonardo's greatest achievments are found in his drawings. Vivid HIGH QUALITY color reproductions are accompanied by insightful commentary and historical/biographical information. The book covers the whole breadth of Leonardo's intellectual development. 100 color drawings by history's greatest draftsman, and indeed one of most powerful minds the world has ever seen. As the book says "...[Leonardo's] drawings [are] the pure expression of his genius, boundless and magnificent."
What more could one want in a book? 5/5
Kenneth Clark gives an unpropogating look at Da Vinci. All too often Leonardo's name has been attached to support a variety of causes of this or that nature. Being, seemingly, irreligious and unphilosophic while being the quintessential Renassaince Man. His name is often used as a mascot to justify the ideals of this or that group of whatever. He was clearly an animal rights lover, possibly a closet Franciscan, in all probability a homosexual (although not much of an activist). Leonardo was into his thoughts and had little patience for something that was already complete in his mind. He left scores of unfinished works, and minons of angry patrons - contrary to Bornstin's book that Leonardo was in constant search of patrons - Clark says he had many unhappy patrons. Leonardo was an animal lover who hated violence (although he designed armaments of various sorts). His depth of religious devotion could be argued, but he was not irreverant, as some have claimed. Leonardo was rather Franciscan and had a fondness for animals and individuality. He was free and valued his own individualism. Other than Da Vinci's notebooks nothing much authentic comes down to us. Every other work of Leonardo has been severally retouched or destroyed, what there is left of Leonardo's work is highly speculative - what bit is in his hand ect. Clark gives a healthy, vibrant, nonproselytizing look at a genius - something anyone might find interesting.