• Leonardo da Vinci

  • By: Sherwin Nuland
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 4 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 01-06-05
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Books on Tape
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.4 (65 ratings)

Regular price: $19.93

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Publisher's Summary

In Leonardo da Vinci, Sherwin Nuland completes his 20-year quest to understand an unlettered man who was a painter, architect, engineer, philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. What was it that propelled Leonardo's insatiable curiosity? Nuland finds clues in his subject's art, relationships, and scientific studies. He detects the siren voice that so often lured the great artist into the arms of science, Leonardo's fascination with anatomy, first as the basis for his paintings and then as the crucial component in his aim to systematize all knowledge of nature. Scholarly and passionate, Nuland's Leonardo da Vinci takes us deep into the first truly modern, empirical mind, one that was centuries ahead of its time.
Can't get enough of Leonardo's legacy? Check out our store devoted to all things Da Vinci.
©2000 Sherwin B. Nuland (P)2001 Books on Tape, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Nuland's enthusiasm and knowledge make his story interesting and easy to read." (Seattle Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Mark Grannis on 11-04-05

Not enough art, in more ways than one

This is an extraordinarily admiring biography of da Vinci, but the author's understandable admiration (particuarly for Leonardo's work in human anatomy) gets in the way. The best biographies let us experience the subject's life from his own point of view, so that as we see the various choices he makes we realize that we are actually watching the subject's own creation of self. Unfortunately, this book is not among the best biographies. Instead of presenting Leonardo the Renaissance Man, Nuland gives us Leonardo the 21st century man trapped in 15th century Italy. He seems not to relate to any of his contemporaries, and we get no sense that the burning curiosity within Leonardo was actually quite in keeping with the spirit of his age.

Furthermore, despite occasional references to Leonardo's studies in optics, astronomy, and math, we really only get to know his work in anatomy. Even his art is barely mentioned.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Arturo on 08-23-07


Hated it. He sais Leonardo is his hero, and that this book is about his genious, but he doesnt focus on the process of discovery, his passion, or how strongly he was pulled by his obsessions. Doesnt focus on his life at all. Just glosses over everything, and gives you little to admire. Goes over decades of accomplishments without naming them or explaining their genious.
He keeps reffering to his unfinished work on every page. Again, and again, but its ok, since everyone still thinks he's famous. As if THAT were the thing to amaze us.
This book misrepresents the power that was Leonardo da Vinci. The image he paints is one of an irresponsable, aloof slacker that had lots of potential, but nothing to show for it. He died a sad and unaccomplished UNLETTERED MAN.

if you want a REAL book to be awed and inspired by on ancient masters, try the unabridged version of "Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling"

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4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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