Leonardo: Discovering the Life of Leonardo Da Vinci

Serge Bramly, Author HarperCollins Publishers $35 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-016065-4
An ``impeccable dandy,'' charming, brilliant and strikingly handsome da Vinci (1452-1519) emerges in this fresh, gripping portrait as a genius torn by inner conflicts. The polymath artist/engineer/scientist was an illegitimate child traumatized by separation from his loving mother, writes Bramly, biographer of Man Ray. Analyzing Leonardo's notebooks and annotated erotic drawings, as well as contemporary sources, the author depicts the Renaissance prodigy as a man who felt rejected by his father, ambivalent about his homosexuality and both curious about and disgusted by male-female sex. Though vehemently anticlerical, Leonardo believed in God--indeed, was almost jealous of the Creator, whom he called ``inventor of everything.'' Bramly has dusted off the primary sources to make da Vinci a startlingly prescient, relevant figure in this exceptional biography. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-14-023175-5
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