Biographic Leonardo

It’s difficult to think of a historical figure better suited to an infographic biography than Leonardo da Vinci, whose very name brings to mind one iconic image after another. Instead of using text to recount a linear story, this book uses maps, timelines, pictures and charts to illuminate key moments in his career, as well as placing his lifestyle and achievements firmly within the context of Renaissance Italy.

There’s a huge variety of information packed inside this small book, but it never feels overwhelming, thanks to the creative and varied design of its graphics. One page will point out the promise and the errors in an early painting, while the next uses historical records to recreate da Vinci’s ostentatious clothing. A particularly revealing graphic compares his artistic output to Michelangelo’s, deftly demonstrating both men’s accomplishments while also offering amusing insight into their infamous rivalry.

Designed to be dipped in and out of instead of read cover to cover, this book has a cleverly crafted appeal to readers who are more used to taking in information through smart phones than through text books. Its dynamic approach will delight current art and history fans, while also creating new ones. An invaluable resource for students and teachers, not only as a study aid, but also as an inspiration for non-text based methods of presenting data and conceiving of complex concepts.