Best-selling author Leonard Shlain explores the potential for humankind through the life, art, and mind of the first true Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci. The author hypothesizes that da Vinci’s staggering range of achievements demonstrates a harbinger of the future of our species. Da Vinci’s innovations as an artist, scientist, and inventor are recast through a modern lens, with Shlain applying contemporary neuroscience to illuminate da Vinci’s creative process. No other person in human history has excelled in so many areas of innovation: Shlain reveals the how and the why.
Shlain theorizes that Leonardo’s extraordinary mind came from a uniquely developed and integrated right and left brain, and he offers a model for how we too can evolve. Using past and current research, Leonardo’s Brain presents da Vinci as the focal point for a fresh exploration of human creativity. With his lucid style and remarkable ability to discern connections among a wide range of fields, Shlain brings the reader into the world of history’s greatest mind.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Leonard Shlain turns his attention to the subject of Leonardo da Vinci, and seeks to explain his singularity as a universal genius by employing contemporary state of the art left-right brain scientific research. As in his previous best seller, Art and Physics, this book showcases Shlain’s lucid style, his passionate commitment to ideas, his intellectual courage to make bold but informed speculations on large subjects, and his ability to discern connections in a wide range of fields.
This is a book that integrates art criticism, science, medicine, neuroscience, human psychology, philosophy, and evolution.
It’s bold and brilliant.
Leonard Shlain's book about Leonardo da Vinci is an unabashed celebration of a Renaissance genius whose staggering range of achievements spanned art, science and invention. Despite the five centuries that have passed since da Vinci lived, Shlain marshals evidence to show the scope of his genius resulted from the unique physiology of his brain that allowed him to achieve all he did in both art and science.
Shlain's book on da Vinci follows from the spirit of the author's previous books, most notably The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image and Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light. Taken together, the three books examine the way alphabetic literacy reconfigured the human brain and brought about profound changes in history, religion, and gender relations; review the ways art interprets the visible world while science charts its unseen workings; and describe the manner in which a unique individual transcended the divisions...
I just finished my first reading of Leonardo's Brain. I loved it. It is a brilliant and important work. I will read it again very carefully. My wife and I have read all of Leonard Shlain's books, and found them each to be important guides for our human future.
Leonardo's Brain is a fitting addition and final chapter to Shlain's legacy.
Leonard Shlain was a polymath in his own right. This book is in part personal biography, art history, science history, neuroscience, and scientific hypothesis.
You will be informed, educated, provoked, challenged and awed. You will never think of Leonardo da Vinci or yourself in quite the same way.
Thank you Leonard.
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