100 books like Leonardo Da Vinci

By Michael Farthing, Stephen Farthing,

Here are 100 books that Leonardo Da Vinci fans have personally recommended if you like Leonardo Da Vinci. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Leonardo. the Complete Paintings and Drawings

Ben Lewis Author Of The Last Leonardo: The Secret Lives of the World's Most Expensive Painting

From my list on Leonardo da Vinci.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with art when I was 14 on a trip to Florence with my parents. From that moment on there was hardly an exhibition in London I didn’t go and see. Over the last 20 years, I have made scores of documentaries (Art Safari) and podcasts (Art Bust) about art and written books that explore how the arts and culture intersect with economics, society, and politics. I love to research and tell stories about art: behind the most beautiful objects there often lie the most intriguing of tales, where intellect and imagination collide with ambition, greed, and vanity.

Ben's book list on Leonardo da Vinci

Ben Lewis Why did Ben love this book?

The definitive account of Leonardo’s life and work by one of the world’s greatest Leonardo scholars, magnificently illustrated, clearly written, admirably objective.

Frank was very generous in his advice to me, as I wrote my own book about Leonardo, though he generally takes a more favourable view of the Saudi Salvator Mundi than I do. It’s a big book but easy to dip in and out of with its Catalogue Raisonée structure of an account of the artist's life followed by essays on each painting.

By Frank Zöllner, Johannes Nathan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leonardo. the Complete Paintings and Drawings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Unmatched in his ingenuity, technical prowess, and curiosity, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) epitomizes the humanistic ideal of the Renaissance man: a peerless master of painting, sculpture, cartography, anatomy, architecture-and more. Simultaneously captivating art historians, collectors, and the millions who flock yearly to admire his works, Leonardo's appeal is as diffuse as were his preoccupations. His images permeate nearly every facet of Western culture-The Vitruvian Man is engraved into millions of Euro coins, The Last Supper is considered the single most reproduced religious painting in history, and the Mona Lisa has entranced countless artists and observers for centuries.

On the occasion…


Book cover of Leonardo Da Vinci

Michael Gervais Author Of The First Rule of Mastery: Stop Worrying about What People Think of You

From my list on illuminating the path towards mastery.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a performance psychologist, I’ve spent my career supporting high-performers on their path toward mastery. I founded Finding Mastery, a high-performance psychology consulting agency. Our primary focus is helping leaders, teams, and organizations solve the most dynamic and complex human performance challenges.

Michael's book list on illuminating the path towards mastery

Michael Gervais Why did Michael love this book?

Walter Isaacson’s biography is not just a mere recounting of the life of a Renaissance genius; it is an exploration into the mind of a man whose curiosity knew no bounds.

Isaacson details how that curiosity, combined with his ability to observe and question the world around him, led to groundbreaking insights and inventions.

This resonates deeply with my own pursuit of understanding human potential and performance.

By Walter Isaacson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Leonardo Da Vinci as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller from Walter Isaacson brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography that is "a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it...Most important, it is a powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life" (The New Yorker).

Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo da Vinci's astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson "deftly reveals an intimate Leonardo" (San Francisco Chronicle) in a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo's genius was based on skills we can improve…


Book cover of Living with Leonardo: Fifty Years of Sanity and Insanity in the Art World and Beyond

Ben Lewis Author Of The Last Leonardo: The Secret Lives of the World's Most Expensive Painting

From my list on Leonardo da Vinci.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with art when I was 14 on a trip to Florence with my parents. From that moment on there was hardly an exhibition in London I didn’t go and see. Over the last 20 years, I have made scores of documentaries (Art Safari) and podcasts (Art Bust) about art and written books that explore how the arts and culture intersect with economics, society, and politics. I love to research and tell stories about art: behind the most beautiful objects there often lie the most intriguing of tales, where intellect and imagination collide with ambition, greed, and vanity.

Ben's book list on Leonardo da Vinci

Ben Lewis Why did Ben love this book?

Here we shift the focus to what it’s like being a Leonardist. Yes, that is a word! Oxford professor Martin Kemp is one of the world’s most in-demand Leonardo scholars. His inbox is full of emails from strangers who think they have an undiscovered Leonardo in their attic. He rebuilds Leonardo’s flying machines for museum exhibitions. And when a stolen Leonardo da Vinci painting is recovered, he gets a call from the police.

Somehow Kemp manages to be self-regarding and self-deprecating, accessible, and a little superior at the same time, as he whisks you along on his adventures in Leonardoland.

By Martin Kemp,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Living with Leonardo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Living with Leonardo is a set of highly focused memoirs, a personal journey interwoven with historical research that encapsulates the author's relationship with Leonardo da Vinci over more than half a century.

We learn of his encounters with the vast population that surrounds Leonardo: great and lesser academics, collectors and curators, devious dealers and unctuous auctioneers, major scholars and authors and pseudohistorians and fantasists; but also how he has grappled with swelling legions of 'Leonardo loonies', walked on the eggshells of vested interests in academia and museums, and fended off fusillades of non-Leonardos, sometimes more than one a week. Kemp…


Book cover of Leonardo Da Vinci: Extraordinary Machines

Ben Lewis Author Of The Last Leonardo: The Secret Lives of the World's Most Expensive Painting

From my list on Leonardo da Vinci.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with art when I was 14 on a trip to Florence with my parents. From that moment on there was hardly an exhibition in London I didn’t go and see. Over the last 20 years, I have made scores of documentaries (Art Safari) and podcasts (Art Bust) about art and written books that explore how the arts and culture intersect with economics, society, and politics. I love to research and tell stories about art: behind the most beautiful objects there often lie the most intriguing of tales, where intellect and imagination collide with ambition, greed, and vanity.

Ben's book list on Leonardo da Vinci

Ben Lewis Why did Ben love this book?

Here’s the one to get to introduce your children to Leonardo da Vinci – a pop-up book with gloriously beautiful drawings and 3D models of Leonardo’s inventions, which included airplanes, a submarine, a parachute, helicopter, armoured vehicle, and a crossbow-machine gun.

Aside from the renovation of the sewers and plumbing of a Florentine church, none of Leonardo’s technological designs are ever known to have been built and tested, which leaves us with the question of whether he was more of a dreamer than a doer. I think this would work for 6-12-year-olds.

By David Hawcock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leonardo Da Vinci as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The most significant creations of Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci come to life in the pages of this lavishly illustrated pop-up book. Published to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo's death, this elaborate collectible reveals the intricacy and importance of his designs for robots, flying machines, and other timeless inventions. The 3-D models are based on the master's actual drawings and accompanied by his notes.


Book cover of Leonardo Da Vinci: A Singular Vision

Susan Dorothea White Author Of Draw Like Da Vinci

From my list on the drawing techniques of great masters and great mistresses.

Why am I passionate about this?

A practising artist for more than 60 years, my main source of inspiration is people and the natural world. I work in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, and printmaking. Drawing is the foundation of my art and I always keep a sketchbook handy. As a left-hander in a right-handed world, drawing became my main means of expression from an early age, when I instinctively wrote back-to-front with my left hand but was made to use my right. In addition to my art practice, I have taught drawing and developed a teaching method based on 7 principles that are outlined in Draw Like da Vinci.  

Susan's book list on the drawing techniques of great masters and great mistresses

Susan Dorothea White Why did Susan love this book?

This is my favorite book on drawings by Leonardo, with the best from his broad œuvre of head studies, figures, children, anatomy, plants, horses, mechanics, buildings, water dynamics, and aerial landscapes. The quality of the color reproductions is superb. The text is insightful with quotes from Leonardo. I love the silverpoint figure drawings with white chalk highlights on blue paper that Leonardo prepared himself. Leonardo’s understanding of anatomy, combined with the flesh-colored line of oxidized metal, make the figures leap from the page.

I was astonished to learn that Leonardo used black chalk under-drawing in his anatomical ink studies. The correlation between Leonardo’s studies and his paintings is enlightening – in drawings for The Last Supper, Leonardo expresses the anguish in the head of St Philip with a few skillful lines and captures the look of disdain in the head of Judas in red chalk on red ground. I…

By Martin Clayton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leonardo Da Vinci as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The full range of Leonardo's genius is revealed in this elegant book, which reproduces for the first time many unfamiliar drawings from the masters hand as well as more widely known works.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was arguably the greatest draftsman in the history of Western art. Best known as a painter, he also excelled as sculptor, architect, musician, anatomist, botanist, engineer, geologist, and mapmaker. But since he completed few of his projects, most of his work is known to us only through his drawings and notes. This selection of 100 sheets from the collection at Windsor Castle are presented…


Book cover of Anatomy of the Moving Body: A Basic Course in Bones, Muscles, and Joints

Greg Siofer Author Of Getting Out: My Story Plus The Exercises And Experience I Learned That Can Help You Get Out From The Wheelchair

From my list on physiotherapy for your recovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

Losing something is exceedingly difficult to accept, however, in sharing my story I hope it gives the personal motivation to recover the things that have been taken away. There is light in a tunnel you just must find it, my story I hope gives you that light.

Greg's book list on physiotherapy for your recovery

Greg Siofer Why did Greg love this book?

Learning anatomy requires more than pictures and labels. It requires a way “into” the subject—a means of making sense of what is being shown. Anatomy of the Moving Body addresses that need with a simple yet complete study of the body's complex system of bones, muscles, and joints, and how they function. Beautifully illustrated with 3D images, contains lectures that guide you through this challenging interior landscape. Description of each part of the body in brief, manageable sections, with components described singly or in small groups.

By Theodore Dimon Jr., John Qualter (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anatomy of the Moving Body as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A complete, lecture-based anatomy course that covers the muscles, bones, and joints of the moving body—perfect for dancers and movement-oriented therapists

Learning anatomy requires more than pictures and labels. It requires a way “into” the subject—a means of making sense of what is being shown. Anatomy of the Moving Body addresses that need with a simple yet complete study of the body's complex system of bones, muscles, and joints, and how they function. Beautifully illustrated with over one hundred 3D images, this second edition contains thirty-one lectures that guide readers through this challenging interior landscape. Author Theodore Dimon Jr. describes…


Book cover of The Muscle Book

Greg Siofer Author Of Getting Out: My Story Plus The Exercises And Experience I Learned That Can Help You Get Out From The Wheelchair

From my list on physiotherapy for your recovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

Losing something is exceedingly difficult to accept, however, in sharing my story I hope it gives the personal motivation to recover the things that have been taken away. There is light in a tunnel you just must find it, my story I hope gives you that light.

Greg's book list on physiotherapy for your recovery

Greg Siofer Why did Greg love this book?

Being exasperated on how muscles function is performed, I recommend The Muscle Book which assisted me in understanding my anatomy. The book helped me understand the moves needed to be performed for my recovery, for each muscle there is straightforward information, including common problems, signs of weakness, and self-massage for first aid. It provides anatomical terminology and clearly outlined reference pages.

By Paul Blakey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Muscle Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How does the body work? How do I spot imbalances? What can I do to help myself? Answer to these questions and more are found in THE MUSCLE BOOK. Discover the major muscles and what they do, how to spot weaknesses and practical tips on preventing injury. Whether you are a truck driver with a stiff neck or a yoga teacher helping someone recover from back pain, this book makes anatomy interesting and applicable.The book clearly identifies all major muscles of the human body, and shows how they work. For each muscle there is straightforward information including common problems, signs…


Book cover of Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology

Chet Richards Author Of Certain to Win

From my list on upsetting your orientation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I never had a real career. Closest I came was the Air Force Reserve for 27 years. Along the way, I built fighter-vs-fighter computer models for the Defense Department, served as an advisor to a Saudi Air Force prince, led a team that designed a replacement for the Air Force’s A-10 tankbuster (which was never built, unfortunately), sold C-130 transport aircraft in Saudi Arabia, taught statistics in business school, became a yoga instructor, and did PR work in Atlanta. Starting in 1975, I collaborated a little with a retired Air Force colonel, John Boyd, creator of the infamous “OODA loop.” I was never a published author in the US, although I am in India, Portugal, and Japan. 

Chet's book list on upsetting your orientation

Chet Richards Why did Chet love this book?

Your parents always told you to “Sit up straight and don’t slouch when you walk.” Why is this good advice? What are all those bumps along your back and what does it mean if they start to hurt? What is “aerobic exercise” and is it better for you than weight lifting? How do cuts heal, and how does the body fight infections (and pandemics)? What does our brain do while we’re asleep? An anatomy & physiology text can provide the answers to those and thousands of other questions about something we inhabit 24 hours of every day. Here’s one I used in my yoga training. Textbooks tend to be expensive, however, so you may want to look around — there’s even a “For Dummies” book on A&P, which looks pretty good, especially at one-tenth the price of a textbook. 

By Frederic Martini, Judi Nath, Edwin Bartholomew

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For courses in two-semester A&P.

Using Art Effectively to Teach the Toughest Topics in A&P

Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology helps students succeed in the challenging A&P course with an easy-to-understand narrative, precise visuals, and steadfast accuracy. With the 11th Edition, the author team draws from recent research exploring how students use and digest visual information to help students use art more effectively to learn A&P. New book features encourage students to view and consider figures in the textbook, and new narrated videos guide students through complex physiology figures to help them deconstruct and better understand complicated processes. Instructors can…


Book cover of Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist

Ron Husband Author Of Quick Sketching with Ron Husband

From my list on sketching, anatomy and animation for the artist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been drawing for over 68 years and carrying a sketchbook for over 60 of those years. I've seen success as an author, I'm an award-winning illustrator of books and magazines and animated many classic Disney features. Am I an expert on sketching humans and animals? ...No. I'm constantly learning in my effort to capture humans and animals in action by following the basic principles of drawing as they apply to quick sketching. My learning is aided by these books as I prepare lesson plans or the encouragement and inspiration found within their pages. I'm married to LaVonne, my high school sweetheart of 50 years, and have three grown children and six grandchildren.

Ron's book list on sketching, anatomy and animation for the artist

Ron Husband Why did Ron love this book?

This book laid the foundation of the importance of anatomy for me. I was first introduced to the pages as a college student and over fifty years later I use it as reference for myself and the students I teach. The author, through the use of his thorough, detailed illustrations, charts, photographs and explanations guide us through a maze of complicated body parts. His mastery of the human body allows him to visually present this complex topic into easily understandable material. The information contained within its pages has also been invaluable to me over the years as a constant reference in my quick sketching, illustration, and animation projects.

By Stephen Rogers Peck,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stephen Rogers Peck's Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist remains unsurpassed as a manual for students. It includes sections on bones, muscles, surface anatomy, proportion, equilibrium, and locomotion. Other unique features are sections on the types of human physique, anatomy from birth to old age, an orientation on racial anatomy, and an analysis of facial expressions. The wealth of information offered by the Atlas ensures its place as a classic
for the study of the human form.


Book cover of Anatomy of Movement: Exercises

Laura Staton Author Of Yoga Bones: A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Pain and Orthopedic Injuries Through Yoga

From my list on helping you reflect and reset.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a lifelong asthmatic I’ve been working with the body for as long as I can remember. Childhood activities included getting lost in the woods, camping, and roller-skating, and grown-up life has included the professions of a modern dancer, choreographer, yoga therapist, and occupational therapist. If you can learn to slow down and find safety in your body, you can always manage to find your way home.

Laura's book list on helping you reflect and reset

Laura Staton Why did Laura love this book?

Initially published in 1990, this book stands the test of time. Anatomy of Movement Exercises describes the body mechanics inherent in our functional and daily movements. The illustrations and explanations are very clear and the author's understanding of anatomy, physiology, and movement is astonishing. This book is perfect for anybody with a movement practice who wishes to better understand exactly what is going on as they move.

By Blandine Calais-Germain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anatomy of Movement as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Anatomy of Movement: Exercises, the companion volume to Anatomy of Movement, describes and illustrates, through hundreds of drawings, a comprehensive series of exercises involving the most common movements of the body. In this new third edition, all of the illustrations were updated and the photographs replaced with new illustrations. The exercises were chosen on the basis of their effectiveness and with concern for their safety. Some are designed to focus on strengthening a particular region or muscle group, others the entire body. Each exercise prepares the body to respond well to the demands of particular movements. Together they serve as…


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