Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Leonardos Notebook for Heidenkinds Art History Challenge

 When I did this post about different female Artists for Heidenkinds Art History Challenge   it was mentioned that I should find a biography of an artist I liked for the next part of this challenge. I failed to find a biography of the women artists that I mentioned I liked, (perhaps I wasn't trying hard enough) but it got me thinking: What about da Vinci? I had always been intrigued about him since I became aware of the Mona Lisa. He seems to be an artist that will always intrigue us. He helped Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott fall in love in the movie Ever After and caused all kinds of controversy with in the book the da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.

While searching for books that were about the book The da Vinci Code I stumbled upon this book: Leonardo's Notebook. Before I begin my review I have a confession: I skimmed through a lot of this book. Why must art books be big and bulky and have small print?  The best part about this book were the drawings and sketches done by Leonardo. If you are an artist this book is a must read. It goes into detail about how to draw a battle, and why you should include or not include certain things, how to draw a tempest, and well you get the point.  There is a section about bridges and cannons, and the best way to beat defenses down by their designs and how he could make his way into battle to bring food supply without making any noise.

What I thought was really interesting was in Ever After there was a scene were Leonardo was in the water with wings trying to fly, and to be honest I never knew that really was a real idea by da Vinci. On page 277 he gives detailed instructions on how this technique should work. I thought it was cool that the movie actually stuck to one of his theories so closely.  In conclusion this book just proves what a genius this man is and why we'll be looking at his work for a long time to come! I'll leave you with some cool quotes from the book:

  • Wisdom is the daughter of experience (pg.288)
  • Such as harm is when it hurts me not, is good which avails me not. (pg 302)
  • He who offends others does not secure himself. (pg 302)
  • A painter ought to be curious to hear the opinions of everyone on his work. (pg. 298) 
  • All our knowledge has it origin in our perceptions. (pg. 300)
Oh, before I go: You might have noticed that I changed my layout...again! The graphic designer I used for the old layout misunderstood the terms of  agreement with the person she bought the design from & had to take it down. I want to thank all the fabulous people on Twitter who helped me with my many (and I mean many) layout questions. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone: Heather from Book Obsessed who introduced me to  Larissa from Larissa's Life and Brooke That's Queen Bitch to You. Deb from BookMagic kept encouraging me. :) I used a totally different background from what I showed them, but they were so supportive!