Description : An epic quest exposes hidden truths about Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, the recently discovered masterpiece that sold for $450 million—and might not be the real thing. In 2017, Leonardo da Vinci’s small oil painting the Salvator Mundi was sold at auction. In the words of its discoverer, the image of Christ as savior of the world is “the rarest thing on the planet.” Its $450 million sale price also makes it the world’s most expensive painting. For two centuries, art dealers had searched in vain for the Holy Grail of art history: a portrait of Christ as the Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci. Many similar paintings of greatly varying quality had been executed by Leonardo’s assistants in the early sixteenth century. But where was the original by the master himself? In November 2017, Christie’s auction house announced they had it. But did they? The Last Leonardo tells a thrilling tale of a spellbinding icon invested with the power to make or break the reputations of scholars, billionaires, kings, and sheikhs. Ben Lewis takes us to Leonardo’s studio in Renaissance Italy; to the court of Charles I and the English Civil War; to Amsterdam, Moscow, and New Orleans; to the galleries, salerooms, and restorer’s workshop as the painting slowly, painstakingly emerged from obscurity. The vicissitudes of the highly secretive art market are charted across six centuries. It is a twisting tale of geniuses and oligarchs, double-crossings and disappearances, in which we’re never quite certain what to believe. Above all, it is an adventure story about the search for lost treasure, and a quest for the truth. Praise for The Last Leonardo “The story of the world’s most expensive painting is narrated with great gusto and formidably researched detail in Ben Lewis’s book. . . . Lewis’s probings of the Salvator’s backstory raise questions about its historical status and visibility, and these lead in turn to the fundamental question of whether the painting is really an autograph work by Leonardo.”—Charles Nicholl, The Guardian “As the art historian and critic Ben Lewis shows in his forensically detailed and gripping investigation into the history, discovery and sales of the painting, establishing the truth is like nailing down jelly.”— Michael Prodger, The Sunday Times
Description : From Marilyn to Mussolini, people captivate people. A&E's "Biography, " best-selling autobiographies, and biographical novels testify to the popularity of the genre. But where does one begin? Collected here are descriptions and evaluations of over 10,000 biographical works, including books of fact and fiction, biographies for young readers, and documentaries and movies, all based on the lives of over 500 historical figures from scientists and writers, to political and military leaders, to artists and musicians. Each entry includes a brief profile, autobiographical and primary sources, and recommended works. Short reviews describe the pertinent biographical works and offer insight into the qualities and special features of each title, helping readers to find the best biographical material available on hundreds of fascinating individuals.
Description : The unforgettable, unknown history of colors and the vivid stories behind them in a beautiful multi-colored volume The Secret Lives of Color tells the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso's blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history. In this book, Kassia St. Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colors and where they come from (whether Van Gogh's chrome yellow sunflowers or punk's fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilization. Across fashion and politics, art and war, the secret lives of color tell the vivid story of our culture. “A mind-expanding tour of the world without leaving your paintbox. Every color has a story, and here are some of the most alluring, alarming, and thought-provoking.” —Simon Garfield, author of Just My Type
Description : The ultimate annual book of records is back and crammed with more than ever before! Guinness World Records 2017 is bursting with all-new records on topics as diverse as black holes, domes, owls and killer plants. And of course all your favourite record categories are updated, such as the world’s new tallest dog! Plus, want to be a record-breaker? Inside you’ll find exciting challenges you can try at home.
Description : A New York Times Bestseller For almost a century, Americans have been losing their hearts and losing their minds in an insatiable love affair with the American musical. It often begins in childhood in a darkened theater, grows into something more serious for high school actors, and reaches its passionate zenith when it comes time for love, marriage, and children, who will start the cycle all over again. Americans love musicals. Americans invented musicals. Americans perfected musicals. But what, exactly, is a musical? In The Secret Life of the American Musical, Jack Viertel takes them apart, puts them back together, sings their praises, marvels at their unflagging inventiveness, and occasionally despairs over their more embarrassing shortcomings. In the process, he invites us to fall in love all over again by showing us how musicals happen, what makes them work, how they captivate audiences, and how one landmark show leads to the next—by design or by accident, by emulation or by rebellion—from Oklahoma! to Hamilton and onward. Structured like a musical, The Secret Life of the American Musical begins with an overture and concludes with a curtain call, with stops in between for “I Want” songs, “conditional” love songs, production numbers, star turns, and finales. The ultimate insider, Viertel has spent three decades on Broadway, working on dozens of shows old and new as a conceiver, producer, dramaturg, and general creative force; he has his own unique way of looking at the process and at the people who collaborate to make musicals a reality. He shows us patterns in the architecture of classic shows and charts the inevitable evolution that has taken place in musical theater as America itself has evolved socially and politically. The Secret Life of the American Musical makes you feel as though you’ve been there in the rehearsal room, in the front row of the theater, and in the working offices of theater owners and producers as they pursue their own love affair with that rare and elusive beast—the Broadway hit.
Description : TREATISE LEONARDO DA VINCI. Originally published in 1877. PREFACE: Vll ono was Issued by Messrs. Nichols and Son, to which was added a Life of Leonardo by Mr. John William Brown. This gentleman had the privilege of constant admittance not only to the private library of his Imperial and Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Tuscany, but also to his most rare and valuable collection of Manuscripts in the Palazzo Pitti, where ho was permitted to copy from the original docttments and correspondence whatever he con ceived useful to Ms subject. He was enabled to produce what was then the most trustworthy Life of Leonardo that had over appeared. Since that time many new biographies of Leonardo have been written, of which ono of the most important is that by Signor Gustavo TIzielli. The 1835 edition of the Treatise on Painting has long been scarce, It is now reprinted, and the more recent facts which have boon discovered concerning the life of Leonardo, and a full account of Ms manuscripts and his acknowledged paintings have been added. Nicholas Poussins drawings and Albertis designs are reproduced, and great pains have boon taken to make Leonardos work as useful as possible to students of Art. John Francis Bigaud, the translator of the Trattato della Pittura, was born of French parents at Turin, in 1742. His father, who was a merchant, intended his son to follow Ms profession but young Bigaud evinced so strong a talent for painting, that he was allowed to follow his own desires. After he had received good instruction in art from Choralier Beaumont, principal painter to the King of Sardinia, Bigaud travelled much, in Italy, and stayed more especially in Homo, Parma, and in Bologna, where, in 1760, ho was elected a member of tho Olomontino Academy. In 1772, Ragatid loft Italy and wont to Pann, where he remained but a short time Ho then camo to England, and gained much praise for IUH picture of Hercules. In the November of tho year of his arrival ho was elected an Associate of tho Royal Academy, and In 1784 he became a full mombor. With tho exception of a journey on the Continent, I igaud spent tho rest of his life in England. Ho died in 181,0, at Packing-ton, irt Warwickshire, the seat of tho Karl of Aylosford, his obiof patron. In tho parish church at Pacldngton is an alte r-pi0e painted by Itigaud for tho Karl of Aylosford - no to worthy from, the circumstance that it m mipponod to bo tho first work executed in fresco in thifli country. Among other honours in art, Iltgaud was mado a Mem ber of th Royal Academy of Stockholm, and Painter to the King of Sweden. Contents include: THE LIFE OF LEONARDO DA VINCI ... ... xi BE A WING Proportion, ., ... ... ... 1 Anatomy .., ... .. ... ... 10 Motion and Equipoise of Figures ... ... ... 20 Linear Perspective ... .. ... ... 37 INVENTION, OB COMPOSITION ... ... ... ... 45 Expression and Character, ... ... 63 LIGHT AND SHADOW ... ... ... ... ... 67 Contrast and Effect ... ... ... ... 80 Betoes ... ... ... ... ... 81 COLOUBS AND COLOUBING ... .. ... 87 Colours in regard to Light and Shadow ... ... 100 Colours in regard to Back-grounds ... ... 106 Contrast, Harmony, and Eeflexes in regard to Colours 108 Perspective of Colours . M ... ... . . . 1 M Aerial Perspective, .. . 125 X CONTENTS. IAOK MISCELLANEOUS OBSEBVATIONS ... ... ... 135 Landscape, etc, ... ... ... ... 135 GENBBAL INDEX ... ... ... ... ... 157 APPENDIX I. Manuscripts of Leonardoda Vinci ... ... 178 II. Classified Catalogue of Ms principal Paintings Holy families, Madonnas, etc. ... ... 170 Sacred Historical Subjects ... .. 197 Classical Subjects ... ... ... ... 204 Historical Subjects .. ... ... 209 Portraits ... ... ... ... ... J10 Pictures Lost or Missing ..., S g III...
Description : Leonardo’s early life was spent in Florence, his maturity in Milan, and the last three years of his life in France. Leonardo’s teacher was Verrocchio. First he was a goldsmith, then a painter and sculptor: as a painter, representative of the very scientific school of draughtsmanship; more famous as a sculptor, being the creator of the Colleoni statue at Venice, Leonardo was a man of striking physical attractiveness, great charm of manner and conversation, and mental accomplishment. He was well grounded in the sciences and mathematics of the day, as well as a gifted musician. His skill in draughtsmanship was extraordinary; shown by his numerous drawings as well as by his comparatively few paintings. His skill of hand is at the service of most minute observation and analytical research into the character and structure of form. Leonardo is the first in date of the great men who had the desire to create in a picture a kind of mystic unity brought about by the fusion of matter and spirit. Now that the Primitives had concluded their experiments, ceaselessly pursued during two centuries, by the conquest of the methods of painting, he was able to pronounce the words which served as a password to all later artists worthy of the name: painting is a spiritual thing, cosa mentale. He completed Florentine draughtsmanship in applying to modelling by light and shade, a sharp subtlety which his predecessors had used only to give greater precision to their contours. This marvellous draughtsmanship, this modelling and chiaroscuro he used not solely to paint the exterior appearance of the body but, as no one before him had done, to cast over it a reflection of the mystery of the inner life. In the Mona Lisa and his other masterpieces he even used landscape not merely as a more or less picturesque decoration, but as a sort of echo of that interior life and an element of a perfect harmony. Relying on the still quite novel laws of perspective this doctor of scholastic wisdom, who was at the same time an initiator of modern thought, substituted for the discursive manner of the Primitives the principle of concentration which is the basis of classical art. The picture is no longer presented to us as an almost fortuitous aggregate of details and episodes. It is an organism in which all the elements, lines and colours, shadows and lights, compose a subtle tracery converging on a spiritual, a sensuous centre. It was not with the external significance of objects, but with their inward and spiritual significance, that Leonardo was occupied.