Leonardo by Leonardo is a landmark publication on Leonardo da Vinci, the immortal Renaissance artist universally considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Published to coincide with Leonardo’s 500th anniversary commemoration in 2019, and written by Martin J. Kemp, one of the world’s leading authorities on Leonardo da Vinci, Leonardo by Leonardo presents an astonishing gallery of the master’s 27 existing paintings, as well as the preparatory drawings that formed the basis of his masterpieces. Martin J. Kemp’s narrative is accompanied by extensive written reflections by Leonardo, and is further highlighted by perspectives from his contemporaries. The utmost care and state-of-the-art digital capture technology has been applied to the new photography of the artworks presented in this collection. No expense has been spared to reproduce the artworks with the highest fidelity to color, tone, and surface. The quality of imaging, ultra-fine resolution printing, archival paper, and binding has produced a book like no other. The result is a power and intimacy between artist and viewer that takes us inside the artist’s mind, eye and spirit. The legacy of Leonardo da Vinci is a perennial fascination. Not only did he paint what is considered by many to be the world’s most famous painting, the Mona Lisa , but he radically changed every genre of painting - religious and secular portraiture, devotional tableaux, and drawing. Leonardo is the genius that towers over the history of Western art. The large scale and unparalleled quality of reproduction in this volume allows “the strange, living presence of his paintings” to exercise their full power and magnetism on the viewer. With a lifetime of scholarship and insight, Martin J. Kemp takes us inside the world of each masterwork: the artist’s relationship to his patrons; how and why the works were commissioned; their iconography and symbology; the experimental painting techniques he applied; stories of how the paintings survived and changed owners across the centuries; restoration and condition; and finally, the unsolved puzzles that remain to this day.
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