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Thoughts on Art and Life

Leonardo da Vinci

Book Overview: 

This is a compilation of the thoughts on art, science and life of Leonardo da Vinci, translated by Maurice Baring and edited by Lewis Einstein.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ay, then as much life will be restored as was consumed, like the light of the candle which is furnished to it by the fuel provided by the moisture of the candle, and this light with most speedy succour restores beneath what is consumed above as it dies in dusky smoke; and this death is continuous, likewise the continuity of the smoke is equal to the continuity of the fuel; and in the same moment the light dies and is born again together with the movement of its fuel.


Man and animals are in reality vehicles and conduits of food, tombs of animals, hostels of Death, coverings that consume, deriving life by the death of others.



Look on light and consider its beauty. Shut your {24} eyes, and look again: that which you see was not there before, and that which was, no longer is. Who is he who remakes it if the producer is continually dying?

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Community Reviews

...most of the book is about the supremacy of painting as compared to other forms of art... it is clearly visible that Leonardo da Vinci did not plan to publish it, many ideas are repeated in several instances, with almost same wording. still the book contains some interesting insights...more

If you had no preconception of Leonardo as a great genius and Renaissance man par excellence, you would not get that impression from this book.

At one point early on, I think he says "in the future, men will communicate with one another at great distances," which is pretty impressive, but for the mos

There are comparisons in here which compare different art forms with Vinci having an obvious soft spot for painting compared to other art forms. These comparisons didn't seem to do much for me.

But other than that when he is talking about paintings in general, or how to describe some of the scenes in

Li estas notas aquando da minha leitura da biografia "Leonardo" de Walter Isaacson no ano passado. Na altura nada aqui escrevi porque acalentei a ideia de aprofundar um pouco mais o meu conhecimento sobre Da Vinci. Contudo, como acabei utilizando o seu carácter como modelo para um dos fluxos de pers

Interesting and a good read, but Leonardo is a little too focused on explaining why painting is better than poetry, or sculpture, or other art forms.

I'll level with you. I read this book because of Da Vinci's Demons. Don't think this a stab at culture or pretense or anything.

That said, the book was surprisingly engaging, considering its age, and the fact that, between the ciphers and the terse, rambling tone, it was obviously never intended for

Just about everyone knows Leonardo da Vinci for his paintings, but not so many know him for his inventions, his work with the military and his experiments. This book shares his thoughts on a lot of different subjects, and I think is a great insight into this influential man. We do get to see him obs

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