Leonardo's Universe

The Renaissance World of Leonardo DaVinci

By Bulent Atalay; Keith Wamsley
(National Geographic, Hardcover, 9781426202858, 288pp.)

Publication Date: January 6, 2009

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Description

A veritable rock star in the book world some five centuries after his birth, Leonardo Da Vinci is a man for the ages. Millions of readers hungrily ponder the mysteries behind his sketch-filled notebooks, radical inventions, and enigmatic paintings. This stunning book, like no other on the market, explores the master’s insights and synthesizes his relationship with art and science in a magnificently illustrated and informative style. Every page resonates with Leonardo’s genius, demonstrated by his own art and writings as well as modern diagrams and workable re-creations of his inventions.

Physicist and artist Bulent Atalay, author of Math and the Mona Lisa, deftly explains Leonardo’s interest in topics ranging from architecture to botany to philosophy. Engaging prose and splendid images point up the science and mathematics underlying Leonardo’s genius, showing how attention to proportions, patterns, shapes, and symmetries informed his art. The story flows chronologically, with quotations revealing the near-magical thoughts of a man who just before his death asked God’s forgiveness for "not using all the resources of my spirit and art."

The author’s active speaking engagements and previous success with Math and the Mona Lisa ensure strong sales and ongoing support for Leonardo’s Universe. With lavish illustrations and thrilling revelations, this beautiful book will appeal to the vast audience of Leonardo fans created by The Da Vinci Code—and will stand as an important resource long after other titles have fallen off the bestseller list.




About the Author

Bulent Atalay is a scientist and artist with roots in Turkey, England, and the United States. He is a professor of physics at the University of Mary Washington, an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia, and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He is the author of Math and the Mona Lisa (Smithsonian Books, 2004), and a frequent lecturer on the genius of Leonardo.

Keith Wamsley, is trained in classics and literature. He teaches secondary school in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and was a contributing editor on Math and the Mona Lisa (Smithsonian Books, 2004).

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