Few novels could possess the interest of this splendid biography of one of the greatest artists the world has khown. Although again and again the story of Leonardo’sife has been written, never has so full and complete a history of it from the standpointof both artist and man been published. It is so easy in considering Leonardo, the artist, to forget Leonardo the man, or to wander away from history into thevague upper chambers of criticism and mere conjecture. Not once does the presnt author commit this error. He gives his wonderful subject sufficient historicalsetting, the reader falls readily into the spirit of the time in which this great intellectual giant lived, but never is lured away nor loses sight of the chief figure inthe great drama of life unrolled before him. Artistically there is so little data to buildpon a very few finished paintings, a really small number of drawings, somewritings, but that is all.
And yet with these the author of this volume has made the story complete and has given us suffi cient material with which to form our ownestimate. He says himself that he “has not attempted to explain or analyze everyhing,” but on the contrary has “chosen rather to direct attention and interest toLeonardo’s chief qualities as an artist.” Included in the illustrations, which are numerous and excellent, are examples of the works of contemporary artists, suchworks as in any way bear relation to those by Leonardo himself.
It is a beautiful book, well printed, finely illustrated and written with that clearnessof style which characterizes the best works in literature, indicating clearness of thoughtand a thorough knowledge of the subject under consideration.