Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Da Vinci Novel

We recently finished reading a book about Leonardo Da Vinci for a read-aloud.  It is called, Leonardo: Masterpieces in Milan, by Catherine Jaime.  This is the type of book that gets you right into the historic setting, so you can feel like you are experiencing what things were like at that time.  We learned some things about Leonardo's life story-- but mostly this book was focused on the time he spent in Milan working on assignments for Duke Lodovico-- which included various paintings, a huge horse sculpture, being a wedding planner/coordinator for three weddings of nobility, and painting the wall mural, "The Last Supper" in a large room of a local monastery.  The author has woven an interesting story-- including some hints of intrigue and suspense about the political events occurring at the time of Leonardo's work in Milan.

We took a look at pictures of  "The Last Supper" right after finishing the book-- we just had to see it, after hearing its story.  We also learned some interesting things about this painting on the internet, like how the door-- that is currently intruding the bottom center part of the painting-- was not there at the time the mural was painted.  Also, this work of art was nearly destroyed in WWII-- if it hadn't been especially protected with sandbags, it might have been lost when allied planes bombed this monastery in Italy in an air raid.

This is only one book in a series of three about Da Vinci by this author. She has written a historic novel about Leonardo's earlier years in Florence, Italy, and also a book that describes his entire life.  After reading this one, I'd like to read some of her other books-- she has MANY books about various people and places in history.  Her website is www.catherinejaime.com/home.html