Leonardo and the Last Supper

By: Ross King
Narrated by: Mark Meadows
Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Art
4.3 out of 5 stars (125 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Early in 1495, Leonardo da Vinci began work in Milan on what would become one of history's most influential and beloved works of art - The Last Supper. After a dozen years at the court of Lodovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan, Leonardo was at a low point personally and professionally: at 43, in an era when he had almost reached the average life expectancy, he had failed, despite a number of prestigious commissions, to complete anything that truly fulfilled his astonishing promise. His latest failure was a giant bronze horse to honor Sforza's father: His 75 tons of bronze had been expropriated to be turned into cannons to help repel a French invasion of Italy. The commission to paint The Last Supper in the refectory of a Dominican convent was a small compensation, and his odds of completing it were not promising: Not only had he never worked on a painting of such a large size - 15' high x 30' wide - but he had no experience in the extremely difficult medium of fresco. In his compelling new book, Ross King explores how - amid war and the political and religious turmoil around him, and beset by his own insecurities and frustrations - Leonardo created the masterpiece that would forever define him. King unveils dozens of stories that are embedded in the painting. Examining who served as the models for the Apostles, he makes a unique claim: that Leonardo modeled two of them on himself. Reviewing Leonardo's religious beliefs, King paints a much more complex picture than the received wisdom that he was a heretic. The food that Leonardo, a famous vegetarian, placed on the table reveals as much as do the numerous hand gestures of those at Christ's banquet. As King explains, many of the myths that have grown up around The Last Supper are wrong, but its true story is ever more interesting. Bringing to life a fascinating period in European history, Ross King presents an original portrait of one of the world's greatest geniuses through the lens of his most famous work.

©2012 Ross King (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Leonardo and the Last Supper

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Informative yet creative

Ross King is the best at making non-fiction material read like a novel. While this story is full of solid research and scholarship it is also an enjoyable read.

6 people found this helpful

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Kudos

This book was extremely well written and read. A coherent story told from the contemporary perspective. I will listen to this several times as there is so much detail. Kudos.

5 people found this helpful

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If you were curious about davinci...

It was a good narrative for art enthusiasts who want to know more about this era of art history. A very enjoyable book!

4 people found this helpful

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Fantastic.

Loved it! Ross king does it again. I love that his books tell a rich and detailed story of the context of the subject.

3 people found this helpful

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Fascinating background as well as Leonardo!

Excellent book that places Leonardo in context not only in are history but also in every other aspect of his vast intelligence. Weaves a complete story of Italy and all that was happening before and during his lifetime. Beautifully narrated! A joy to listen to on tedious trips up and down I-95!

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating Topic Becomes Dull

Between the slow pace of the narrator and the droning language from the author, a potentially exciting topic was about as interesting as watching grass grow.

2 people found this helpful

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VERY disappointed

Greatly enjoyed same author's book on Michelangelo. Greatly disappointed that THIS book had relatively little to do with Leonardo. Rather, it seemed more of an inexorable discourse of the histories of Spain and France in their troubled interactions among themselves and Italy. I kept waiting for it all to become relevant, but it never did. Narrator just kept slogging along in monotone. I don't think another narrator could have "saved it," though. Wrong choice. his reading of Italian names seemed good, but I am not well versed in Italian. Generally well written and informative about topics covered. Just not much about Leonardo. I'm generally quite interested in European history.

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Narrator is tone deaf.

This complex story suffers from a narrator’s voice that fails to modulate between war sags, biographic tales, and direct quotations from multiple primary sources. Probably a better read than audible version.

1 person found this helpful

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Not as interesting as I hoped

This is mostly another bio about Leonardo. I guess there’s only so much you can say about the Last Supper and this book went on longer than it needed to.