A History of Thought
I’d always heard that the Dark Ages were a horrible era when the Bubonic Plague ran rampant, the Greco/Roman masters were ignored, and people lived short grubbing lives. In `Da Vinci’s Ghost” Toby Lester brings to light the succession of learning tracing it from the Greeks to the Romans and then threads it through to Medieval times and on to the Renaissance. He focuses on DaVinci but brings up many others, mostly unheard of to me, who kept the wisdom alive and added to it. During the Middle Ages there were vast libraries that were passed down and shared with other thinkers. Because this book was focused on DaVinci I expected that it would be about art history but it was much more than that because DaVinci was much more than an artist. He read thought and created much more in addition to his paintings. Lester focuses on Vitruvian Man, a tradition based on the ideal proportions of man’s body and as such it was a symbol of the ideal of the universe; man and his body seen as a microcosm of the Divine. This was an enlightening book. I would advise getting the hard copy vs. the Kindle version of this book because the nine full color plates and the 53 pencil figure drawings add a lot to the understanding of the concepts.