Math and the Mona Lisa
The Art and Science of Leonardo da Vinci
By Bulent Atalay
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060851194, 336pp.)
Publication Date: March 2006
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The Nature of Genius
Leonardo da Vinci was one of history's true geniuses, equally brilliant as an artist, scientist, and mathematician. Readers of The Da Vinci Code were given a glimpse of the mysterious connections between math, science, and Leonardo's art. Math and the Mona Lisa picks up where The Da Vinci Code left off, illuminating Leonardo's life and work to uncover connections that, until now, have been known only to scholars.
Following Leonardo's own unique model, Atalay searches for the internal dynamics of art and science, revealing to us the deep unity of the two cultures. He provides a broad overview of the development of science from the dawn of civilization to today's quantum mechanics. From this base of information, Atalay offers a fascinating view into Leonardo's restless intellect and modus operandi, allowing us to see the source of his ideas and to appreciate his art from a new perspective. William D. Phillips, who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1997, writes of the author, "Atalay is indeed a modern renaissance man, and he invites us to tap the power of synthesis that is Leonardo's model."
Bulent Atalay is a professor of physics at the University of Mary Washington.