Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Leonardo da Vinci



In the run-up to X Isle's release on Oct 1st, I should mention that I have another title due out on the 5th: Leonardo da Vinci, published by Macmillan.

This was a lovely project to work on. The brief was to try and give an idea of da Vinci's genius and scope by viewing him through the eyes of one of his young apprentices - someone who was 'there at the time'. We invented a character called Paolo, a ten year old boy, and placed him in Leonardo's studio amongst other apprentices whose history is to some extent known. Fictionally told, factually accurate, as it says on the Macmillan website.

Through research and reference we were able to put together a little adventure story that allows us some insight into Leonardo's 'Milan' period, culminating in his painting of The Last Supper. Along the way we learn that painting was only one of Leonardo's skills - and not necessarily the most important one to him. Architect, sculptor, scenery painter, costume designer, inventor, civil engineer, portrait artist...the man turned his hand to whatever was required, accepting commissions from whoever had the money to pay him.

The book is for young readers, beautifully illustrated by Leo Brown, and hopefully serves as both entertainment and an introduction to the work of perhaps the greatest free-lancer ever.

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