Leonardo Da Vinci: Origins of a Genius

Front Cover
Yale University Press, Jan 1, 1998 - Art - 240 pages
Annotation. Leonardo's stature as a giant who changed the course of western art is uncontested. Yet until now there has been no full-length study of the young Leonardo and his earliest works. This beautiful book presents the most complete account ever written of Leonardo's mysterious beginnings as an artist. David Alan Brown begins by examining Leonardo's first years in the Florentine workshop of the leading sculptor of the day, Andrea del Verrocchio, who took up painting about the time Leonardo came to study with him in the later 1460s. Verrocchio exploited Leonardo's special ability to represent nature, and Brown presents several of Verrocchio's works in which Leonardo probably collaborated, including one that would be the younger artist's first painting. Brown shows that Leonardo rapidly outgrew his limited role as Verrocchio's nature specialist and went on to paint such famous works as the Uffizi Annunciation, the Washington Ginevra de' Benci, the Munich Madonna and Child, and part of the Uffizi Baptism. These and other paintings and drawings that Leonardo completed in the early 147Os incorporate a new view of nature that he would later develop in his countless notebook pages. Using his fingers as well as the brush, Leonardo found in the newly introduced oil technique the ideal means to express his vision of a natural would in flux. Scrutinizing Leonardo's works and bringing them into relation to each other and to their sources, Brown brings us so close to the young painter that we feel we are peering over his shoulder or into his mind. His book is a revealing and imaginative glimpse into the origins of Leonardo's sublime genius.

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Leonardo da Vinci: origins of a genius

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In an effort to understand the developmental processes that culminate in mature works, researchers have long focused on the early years of the creative genius. This may well be the first such inquiry ... Read full review

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Verrocchio and Pollaiuolo
Verrocchio the Painter and His Shop
The Apprentice
Science and Sensibility
The Nature of the Portrait
1 The Collaborator

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