Synopses & Reviews
In 1495, Leonardo da Vinci began what would become one of historys most influential works of art—The Last Supper. After a decade at the court of Lodovico Sforza, the duke of Milan, Leonardo was at a low point: at forty-three, he had failed, despite a number of prestigious commissions, to complete anything that truly fulfilled his astonishing promise. His latest failure was a giant bronze horse to honor Sforzas father, made with material expropriated by the military. The commission to paint The Last Supper was a small compensation, and his odds of completing it werent promising: he hadnt worked on such a large painting and had no experience in the standard mural medium of fresco.
Amid war and the political and religious turmoil around him, and beset by his own insecurities and frustrations, Leonardo created the masterpiece that would forever define him. Ross King unveils dozens of stories that are embedded in the painting, and overturns many of the myths surrounding it. Bringing to life a fascinating period in European history, he presents an original portrait of one of historys greatest geniuses through the lens of his most famous work.
The fascinating, behind-the-scenes story of one of historys greatest masterpieces—“A gripping account” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times).
About the Author
Ross King is the highly praised author of Brunelleschi's Dome (the Book Sense Nonfiction Book of the Year in 2000), Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling (on the New York Times extended bestseller list), The Judgment of Paris, Machiavelli: Philosopher of Power, and two novels, Ex Libris and Domino. He lives outside Oxford in England.