Da Vinci's Ghost: Genius, Obsession, and How Leonardo by Toby Lester

By Toby Lester

In Da Vinci's Ghost, seriously acclaimed historian Toby Lester tells the tale of the world's so much iconic photograph, the Vitruvian guy, and sheds outstanding new mild at the artistry and scholarship of Leonardo da Vinci, one in all history's such a lot interesting figures.

Deftly weaving jointly artwork, structure, historical past, theology, and lots more and plenty else, Da Vinci's Ghost is a main highbrow enchantment."-Charles Mann, writer of 1493

Da Vinci didn't summon Vitruvian guy out of skinny air. He was once encouraged by means of the assumption initially formulated through the Roman architect Vitruvius, who steered that the human physique will be made to slot inside of a circle, lengthy linked to the divine, and a sq., relating to the earthly and secular. to put a guy within these shapes was once to indicate that the human physique might certainly be a blueprint for the workings of the universe. Da Vinci increased Vitruvius' inspiration to exhilarating heights while he got down to do anything unparalleled, if the human physique actually mirrored the cosmos, he reasoned, then learning its anatomy extra completely than had ever been tried before-peering deep into physique and soul-might provide him a virtually godlike standpoint at the make-up of the area.

Written with an identical narrative aptitude and highbrow sweep as Lester's award-winning first publication, the "almost unbearably thrilling" (Simon Winchester) Fourth a part of the realm, and fantastically illustrated with Da Vinci's drawings, Da Vinci's Ghost follows Da Vinci on his trip to knowing the secrets and techniques of the Vitruvian guy. It captures a pivotal time in Western historical past whilst the center a long time have been giving method to the Renaissance, whilst artwork, technological know-how, and philosophy have been speedily converging, and while it appeared attainable unmarried man or woman may well embody-and even understand-the nature of the universe.

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Extra info for Da Vinci's Ghost: Genius, Obsession, and How Leonardo Created the World in His Own Image

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Roman Spain. Conquest and assimilation (London) Demandt, A. 1990. "Theodor Momrnsen," in W. W. Briggs and W. M. ), Classical scholarship. A biographical encyclopaedia (New York) 285-307 Dowling, L. 1985. 4: 579-607 Drummond, S. K. and Nelson, L. H. 1994. The western frontiers of imperial Rome (New York) Dyson, S. L. 1985. The creation of the Roman frontier (Princeton) Eckstein, A. M. 1987. Senate and general. C (Berkeley) Freeman, E. A. 1873. , London) Freeman, P. W. M. 1991. "The study of the Roman period in Britain.

As he was a regular correspondent with Mommsen this is disappointing. When Mommsen visited Oxford in 1886, it is likely that he met Pelham as 17 18 19 Dowling 1985: 580. Haverfield, in Pelham 1911: xvi. Haverfield 1912: 325. 36 P. VV. Freernan well as Warde Fowler of Lincoln College. 2o Despite numerous allusions to his high reputation - he was also a leading figure in University politics - sources for a critical appraisal of Pelham's scholarly output are slight. Out of his 1886 contribution to the entry 'Roman History' for the Encyclopaedia Britannica came his Outlines of Roman History (1893).

Cf. Collingwood 1924. Macdonald 1924: 27. P. ~. Freenrran Mommsen's writings. Indeed, it could be suggested that it was the weaknesses in Mommsen's work which determined the course of Haverfield's career. Certainly, the impression is of a conscious decision on his part to devote his career to this aspect of classical antiquity in furtherance of the interpretative framework more narrowly constructed by Mommsen. Hence his efforts, from the 1880s onwards, to become familiar with the archaeology of Britain, with critically important results for the future shape of Romano-British studies.

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