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Leonardo and the Last Supper [Hardcover]

Ross King
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 34.95
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Book Description

Sept. 25 2012

Amazon.ca Editors' Pick: Best Books of 2012

Leonardo da Vinci's transcendent painting The Last Supper defined the master artist. Until now, no one has told the full story behind its creation. Political events weighed on da Vinci and all of Italy during the time of the painting's conception and creation, as his patron, the Duke of Sforza, unleashed forces leading to a decades-long series of tragedies known as the Italian Wars. Sforza was overthrown by French forces in 1499, forcing da Vinci to flee Milan with the paint on The Last Supper barely dry. The Last Supper ensured Leonardo's universal renown as a visionary master of the arts.

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Leonardo and the Last Supper + Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
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Product Details

Product Description


Winner of the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction
Amazon.ca - Best 100 Books of 2012
SHORTLISTED 2012 – Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction
Finalist for the 2013 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction

“King’s investigation into Leonardo’s work is remarkable . . . . King is able to evoke and analyze how Leonardo went about his work and offers a brief, unforgettable, story.”
Toronto Star

“The story of Leonardo’s creation of the work has now found an ideal chronicler in Ross King . . . . A book that offers an engaging and unusually intimate view of one of the great icons of western art.”
The Guardian (UK)

“A gripping account . . .”
The New York Times

“King has made something like a thriller without any of the obvious materials of a thriller—there’s hardly any conflict in the main plot—and an easy read out of difficult stuff without condescending or insulting. You may not think you need one more book about Leonardo, but you shouldn’t deny yourself the pleasure of reading this one.”
The Scotsman

“King tells us everything that any non-specialist would ever want to know about The Last Supper and the events surrounding its creation. . . . This work, even in its dilapidated, faded current state, can still tempt some of its viewers to explain, as Ross King has done well, its peculiar magic.”
—The Globe and Mail

About the Author

ROSS KING is the author of The Judgment of Paris, Brunelleschi's Dome, Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling, and the novels Ex-Libris and Domino. Born and raised in Canada, he now lives near Oxford, England.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonardo and the last supper. Jan. 30 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoy Ross King's books. This is my third one and it delivers as well as e first two did. I love art and in particular the renaissance period. While I am familiar with many of the artists mentioned in the book, Mr
Ing brings them alive in a new and exciting way for me. The history covered here was of great interest to me and helped me clearly visualize the period of Leonardo Da Vinci's life. He covers not only the time of the creation for the fresco of the Last Supper but he years before and after. I always look forward to a Ross
King novel and was definitely not disappointed with this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read. Jan. 21 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The writer has obtained a lot of background history to this famous work and gives good technical explanations for its early deterioration and also the Ludovico Sfortza family. However he still comes across as a populist writer and he would have benefited from better editing. There is also more speculative aspects which could have made the book a little shorter if they had been omitted
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! Nov. 24 2013
By Pierre Gauthier TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This well written, well researched book details the history of one of the world's most famous paintings.

Literally, all aspects appear to be covered: Leonardo's own biography, the political, economic and military context that led to the painting's production, the contents of the work based on Biblical sources, the actual making of the painting, how it has (partially) withstood the trials of time, etc.

The writing style is lively and, despite the amount of information conveyed, the book is of reasonable length and constantly interesting.

The only shortcoming is the lay-out which is hopelessly traditional with rough grained black and white photographs inserted in the main text and all colour photos grouped together in a few pages in the middle of the book. It turns out that no colour photo of the fresco is actually provided!

Nevertheless, this book is strongly recommended to all interested in Italy, art or the Renaissance.
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