The Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo And The Artistic Duel That Sparked The Renaissance

The Lost Battles Leonardo Michelangelo And The Artistic Duel That Sparked The Renaissance From one of Britain s most respected and acclaimed art historians art critic of The Guardian the galvanizing story of a sixteenth century clash of titans the two greatest minds of the Renaissance w

  • Title: The Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo And The Artistic Duel That Sparked The Renaissance
  • Author: Jonathan Jones
  • ISBN: 9780743285391
  • Page: 353
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From one of Britain s most respected and acclaimed art historians, art critic of The Guardian the galvanizing story of a sixteenth century clash of titans, the two greatest minds of the Renaissance, working side by side in the same room in a fierce competition the master Leonardo da Vinci, commissioned by the Florentine Republic to paint a narrative fresco depicting a famFrom one of Britain s most respected and acclaimed art historians, art critic of The Guardian the galvanizing story of a sixteenth century clash of titans, the two greatest minds of the Renaissance, working side by side in the same room in a fierce competition the master Leonardo da Vinci, commissioned by the Florentine Republic to paint a narrative fresco depicting a famous military victory on a wall of the newly built Great Council Hall in the Palazzo Vecchio, and his implacable young rival, the thirty year old Michelangelo We see Leonardo, having just completed The Last Supper, and being celebrated by all of Florence for his miraculous portrait of the wife of a textile manufacturer That painting the Mona Lisa being called the most lifelike anyone had ever seen yet, divine than human, was captivating the entire Florentine Republic.And Michelangelo, completing a commissioned statue of David, the first colossus of the Renaissance, the archetype hero for the Republic epitomizing the triumph of the weak over the strong, helping to reshape the public identity of the city of Florence and conquer its heart.In The Lost Battles, published in England to great acclaim Superb The Observer Beguilingly written The Guardian , Jonathan Jones brilliantly sets the scene of the time the politics the world of art and artisans and the shifting, agitated cultural landscape We see Florence, a city freed from the oppressive reach of the Medicis, lurching from one crisis to another, trying to protect its liberty in an Italy descending into chaos, with the new head of the Republic in search of a metaphor that will make clear the glory that is Florence, and seeing in the commissioned paintings the expression of his vision.Jones reconstructs the paintings that Leonardo and Michelangelo undertook Leonardo s Battle of Anghiari, a nightmare seen in the eyes of the warrior it became the first modern depiction of the disenchantment of war and Michelangelo s Battle of Cascina, a call to arms and the first great transfiguration of the erotic into art Jones writes about the competition how it unfolded and became the defining moment in the transformation of craftsman to artist why the Florentine government began to fall out of love with one artist in favor of the other and how and why in a competition that had no formal prize to clearly resolve the outcome, the battle became one for the hearts and minds of the Florentine Republic, with Michelangelo setting out to prove that his work, not Leonardo s, embodied the future of art Finally, we see how the result of the competition went on to shape a generation of narrative paintings, beginning with those of Raphael.A riveting exploration into one of history s most resonant exchanges of ideas, a rich, fascinating book that gives us a whole new understanding of an age and those at its center.

    • The Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo And The Artistic Duel That Sparked The Renaissance ¦ Jonathan Jones
      353 Jonathan Jones
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      Published :2019-05-24T11:40:14+00:00

    2 thoughts on “The Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo And The Artistic Duel That Sparked The Renaissance

    1. JONATHAN JONES is art critic for The Guardian and writes for numerous art magazines He appears regularly on the BBC and gives talks at the Tate Modern.

    2. Wow. Very disappointed. Interesting history ruined by three things:1. The tangent-style organization allowing the author to "impress" the reader with every obscure connection, real or imagined, he can make between Leonardo and Michelangelo and every good art thing ever. The over attribution is similar to another book I disliked, How Shakespeare Changed Everything, though this is much better researched. I don't think the author manages to defend his title "defined the Renaissance" even with his h [...]

    3. I bought this book in the only decent bookshop I could find in Hoi An Vietnam. (To digress a little: there are a couple of shops that sell heaps of illegal reprints that are badly printed and poorly bound). Back to the Lost Battles.I initially thought this was just about the battle between da Vinci and Michelangelo. However, the plot thickens and we find it more significantly relates to the loss of perhaps the two greatest works of art ever. The loss of those two great works is complex and amazi [...]

    4. The title to this book is slightly misleading. Although it does in some ways start to cover the myriad relationship that existed between Leonardo and Michelangelo its skips many of their greatest works,and rivalries highlighting a few and touching on other artists to get straight to the point of the creation of likely the two greatest drawings ever completed Leonardo's The Battle of Anghiari, and Michelangelo's Battle of Cascina. This is the reason for the title the "Lost Battles". These two gre [...]

    5. As a huge art history buff I really loved this book; in my opinion it's one of the few books I've read that talks about these two artists (especialy Leonardo) in a very real, human way. It was interesting to read and, though I'm incredibly biased towards Leonardo, I learned a lot about Michelangelo and have come to appreciate his work more.To give some criticism of this book: the author tries much too hard to make connections between every one of Leonardo's and Michelangelo's pieces. Comparing t [...]

    6. An engaging piece of popular history. The narrative focuses on the two great artists, but we are, in fact, treated to an exploration of one of the crucial moments in Western history and culture. Jones gives us enough of the history of art, politics, science and technology, as well as philosophy and religion to help us understand that the two rival geniuses (not to mention their rivalry) must be understood both within the context that produced them and in terms of their profound influence on succ [...]

    7. For anyone with an interest in art, let alone Great, Timeless Art, let alone the Renaissance in general, in my opinion this is THE book to read. It's ostensibly about the 'competition' (between Leonardo and Michelangelo) of the Great Council Hall paintings commissioned by Florence's government at the time, but uses this basis to sum up the artworks of Da Vinci and Michelangelo (and loads of others for that matter) both before and after this competition, and all within the context of the basic na [...]

    8. Technical, but worthwhile. Listened to review on Diane Rehm show and the author was a scattered speaker. After reading a few chapters I can hear his voice in my head and realized his head is filled with facts, as the writing is filled with facts, but once you get used to his style it is easy to follow. Wonderful insight into Renaissance daily life.

    9. Extremely interesting book about Leonardo da vinci, michelangelo, renaissance, art and war.Interesting for art lovers, history fans and people interested in Leonardo.Written in an flowing language, full of details and places you would want to visit later.

    10. Well-written art history is a far cry from the stuffy survey classes of my undergraduate days, and Leonardo and Michelangelo have both been written about so frequently it might be difficult to offer something new in a treatment of their work. But here you have a writer who both reveres the work he is dealing with and understands the driving forces of the very human artists that created it, delving into the individuality that their work expresses and imparting insight into small changes in techni [...]

    11. Although the time period is one of the most fascinating in history and the story surrounds De Vinci and Michelangelo the author goes to great pains and lengths to go on and on about how smart he is. So much so that the story gets lost. Also, these two geniuses get a lost in the authors endless talk of what he sees in renaissance art and leaves the story to the back ground too much. Cannot complain that the book was not extremely well researched.

    12. This book is about the two greatest figures of the Italian Renaissance – Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci – and how the rivalry between them shaped the renaissance.Leonardo was the senior artist, Michelangelo the young prodigy. Leonardo was known better for his paintings and drawings, Michelangelo excelled in sculpture. In 1503 Leonardo was commissioned by the City of Florence to paint a mural in the Great Council Hall of Palazzo Vecchio on the battle of Anghieri. A year later Michelangelo [...]

    13. As a present artist and former graduate student of history who is about to visit Italy for the first time, I found this book to be well timed and useful reading. The artist part of me loved the rich and often surprising information about Leonardo and Michelangelo, as well as how they influenced and were influenced by each other. The author made surprising well-documented connections--as one might expect from an art historian--and spiced with anecdotal incident to keep the narrative lively. The h [...]

    14. I found this book to be a strange mixture of excellent writing and frustrating analysis. Jones' writing style is very appealing and I learned a lot about Renaissance art. Having read about Leonardo, I was much more familiar with his life than that of Michelangelo so it was a good learning curve for me. The premise of the book held my attention throughout and helped piece together an part of history where I was not well informed.On the negative side, what was consistently frustrating was the reoc [...]

    15. An impulse read from the local library's "New Books" shelf. I wish I'd grabbed the book next to it instead. What promised to be an interesting read about the rivalry between Leonardo and Michelangelo turned into a dull plod through pages of college arts essay style tangents padding out what ought to have been a much leaner, more focused effort. Jones' lack of focus undermines the title thesis that the duel between the two great artists defined the Renaissance and makes it difficult to discern th [...]

    16. The title refers to the 2 frescoes that were to have been painted by Leonardo and Michelangelo on the walls of Florence's council chamber. Respectively, the battle of Anghiari and the battle of Cascina, both artists' rough cartoon sketches were, when exhibited, a sensation. Unfortunately, politics and other factors contrived to prevent both frescoes from being completed or even started.The tracing of the influence both artists' concepts had on subsequent painters was fascinating. I would liked m [...]

    17. "You don't need to chip away at Vasari's frescoes to see The Battle of Anghiari. It's shadows are eternal, it's truth as old and as new as human folly. Switch off the latest barbarisms on the television news, close your eyes and it will come to you." - This book contains very little of the actual paintings themselves and much more background. However, in all the books I have read about Leonardo, never have I read one that is able to encapsulate the relationship between Da Vinci and Michelangelo [...]

    18. A little disappointing. It provided some very fascinating information, but the author rather lost some credibility when he maintained that virtually every piece of art by either Michelangelo or DaVinci created after the David was in response to the others work. For example, many of M's "tondo" paintings and carvings were a direct response to the style of DaVinci? Some of DV's efforts were solely created to show is own interpretation of works by M???While it's well known they had a personal dista [...]

    19. Interesting take on "battles" Leonardo and Michelangelo had, especially a duel where both were commissioned to paint murals for the Great Hall of Florence, inspiring citizens of the Republic to more martial devotion to the city.I do think Jones may overstate the case about how much enmity the two felt toward each other, but I'm not sure. I do think that, in general, he reads himself into the history a lot. (Though I did find the sections on Machiavelli interesting.)That said, while it's arguable [...]

    20. I am no art historian so cannot take exception to any of Jonathan Jones' theories about the relationship between Da Vinci and Michelangelo. This may be the reason - one of the reasons - I liked this book so well. It never plods. It is full of interesting facts as well as enthusiastic speculations. The pages pop with Jones' passion for his subject. Believe me, my highest compliment is to say I would love to attend one of his lectures.

    21. This is a convincing portrait of the two greats. Who knows if they really felt so much animosity towards one another, but it sure is entertaining to consider the possibility. The book also contains some small enjoyable revelations. I loved reading Leonardo's packing lists (lots of pink), and I was surprised to learn of Michelangelo's risky loyalty to Republican Florence. This would be a great book to read before traveling to Florence (which is, of course, my plan!)

    22. I very much enjoyed the premise of the book, and won't hesitate to admit that the author clearly knows his stuff. That being said, his constant need to stop the flow of his writing to add his own opinions and (often gauch) descriptions of the works of art being discussed made it a bit of a slog to get through. I is finish it though, so that's something(10 points for Gryffindor, I suppose)

    23. It starts out very well, but it quickly becomes too caught up in trying to cover FAR too much in such a short span of pages. A bit more coherence, organization, and some judicious editing would turn a great read into a fantastic one. By the end, the point becomes rather lost, amongst the multitude of biographic threads.

    24. I was fascinated by the professional rivalry between Leonardo as an old man and the young Michelangelo. Even the sexuality differences between the two was center stage. A must read for those interested in the lives of these great artists.

    25. Some interesting stuff, but too much talk talk talk. Somehow the author seems to know the true deeper meaning of every renaissance work of art. I wound up skimming large portions of the book. Also spent a lot of time searching for pix of various masterpieces, major and minor, on the web.

    26. It was a nice, accessible art history book. Easy to read. Obviously was about Leonardo and Michaelangelo. The title is a little hyperbolic. They were two artists with different styles and approaches but not mortal enemies as the title would imply.

    27. Een goed geschreven boek over de veronderstelde rivaliteit tussen Michelangelo en Leonardo da Vinci.Ik denk, dat de schrijver heel veel "hineininterpretiert", maar desondanks is het een fascinerend boek over de renaissance kunst in Florence. Makkelijk leesbaar en met veel mooie prenten.

    28. I first heard the story of this battle from a fabulous tour guide while standing in the Piazza Signoria in Florence. This book enhanced the story--I just wish there had been more pictures. I found myself taking notes to look up a lot of the artwork referenced by the author.

    29. Loved it, it was a great book about two phenomenal painters and how competition shaped their careers and their art, it was awesome!

    30. thoughtful, well-researched and engaging. the author assumes a lot but draws of vivid portrait of two great artists.

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