Leonardo da Vinci, Master Draftsman

Edited by Carmen C. Bambach et al.

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Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) stands as a supreme icon in the history of Western civilization. With much of his work lost or unfinished, the key to his legacy is without doubt to be found in the enormous body of his extant drawings and accompanying manuscript notes. Famous for their beauty and technical virtuosity, Leonardo’s drawings were avidly sought by collectors even during his lifetime.

This handsome book offers a unified and fascinating portrait of Leonardo as a draftsman, integrating his diverse roles as an artist, scientist, inventor, theorist, and teacher. A chronological framework is also provided in order to shed light on his extraordinary life and career. The essays and entries—written by the world’s leading Leonardo scholars—survey the wide variety of drawing types that Leonardo used and also examine a small group of works by artists critical to his artistic development in Florence and to his multifaceted activity in Milan.

Carmen C. Bambach is Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"The Metropolitan’s catalog is immense; more than seven hundred pages long. Many of these pages are taken up by reproductions of the drawings on display, a valuable document for everyone who has seen the show and cannot hope to see these drawings gathered together again anytime soon."—Ingrid Rowland, New York Review of Books 

"A house could be built out of all the books that have been written about the protean genius Leonardo, yet this volume is unique in its in-depth inquiry into the creation, content, and significance of his drawings, and in its glorious array of more than 500 superb reproductions. . . . Adopting a chronological approach, Bambach and her impressive slate of contributors explore the synergy generated by leonardo’s many passions and consider such aspects of his work as the consequences of his left-handedness and the influence of his patrons. A milestone in Leonardo studies and in art publishing."—Booklist

 “With sumptuous colour illustrations and enlarged details of works, [this book] will appeal to a non-specialist audience as well as to the Leonardo scholar. . . . It incorporates the latest research findings, taking issue with previous interpretations, attributions or provenances where appropriate, while maintaining a level of erudite communication and fruitful dialogue.”—Sara M. Dodd, The Art Book

“Enormously valuable.”—Colin Eisler, Renaissance Quarterly

“Extraordinary care has been taken in the illustrations. . . Such an examination brings us directly into [Leonardo’s] creative process.”—Patricia Trutty-Coohill, Sixteenth Century Journal
ISBN: 9780300098785
Publication Date: January 11, 2003
Publishing Partner: Published in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art
800 pages, 8.5 x 11
182 b/w + 333 color illus.
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