Born in 1452 to a peasant woman and a country gentleman, Leonardo da Vinci was one of the most amazing people who ever lived. He grew up to be a great painter, sculptor, architect, scientist, and inventor. As a boy, Leonardo was apprenticed to a famous artist. But he quickly became more skillful than his teacher, and his passionate interests went far beyond art. Fascinated with the human body, he carried out his own experiments in secret. He filled thousands of pages with plans for incredible inventions including a submarine, an air-cooling system, “glasses to see the moon large,” and even a flying machine!
In this magnificent addition to a distinguished series, award-winning author-artist Diane Stanley blends wonderful storytelling with gorgeous illustrations to convey the genius of the man. Stanley produces her most stunning pictorial biography to date. Drawing from a range of sources, including her subject’s extensive notebooks, Stanley’s conversational narrative describes Leonardo da Vinci’s astoundingly far-reaching and varied achievements. Young readers will come to appreciate both da Vinci’s universally renowned accomplishments as a painter and the breadth of his scientific experimentation and research.
While her text is thoroughly intriguing, even more impressive is the artistic challenge Stanley takes on and triumphantly meets: her paintings not only portray the period particulars and likenesses of da Vinci, his patrons and colleagues, but successfully incorporate, in seamless collages, miniature reproductions of such celebrated masterpieces as The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. These exquisite reproductions, as well as sepia-toned spot art taken from da Vinci’s notebooks, sit uncommonly well within Stanley’s own paintings, educating the reader about da Vinci’s masterpieces as a natural part of the visual storytelling. A virtuosic work.