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Leonardo is the greatest, most multi-faceted and most mysterious of all Renaissance artists, but extraordinarily, considering his ermous reputation, this is the first full-length biography in English for several decades. Prize-winning author Charles Nicholl has immersed himself for five years in all the manuscripts, paintings and artefacts to produce an intimate portrait of Leonardo. He uses these contemporary materials - his tebooks and sketchbooks, eye witnesses and early biographies, etc - as a way into the mental tone and physical texture of his life and has made myriad small discoveries about him and his work and his circle of associates. Among much else, the book identifies what Nicholl argues is an unkwn portrait of the artist hanging in a church near Lodi in rthern Italy. It also contains new material on his eccentric assistant Tomasso Masini, on his homosexual affairs in Florence, and on his curious relationship with a female model and/or prostitute from Cremona. A masterpiece of modern biography.
Charles Nicholl has written travel books, The Fruit Palace and Borderlines; a study of Elizabethan alchemy, The Chemical Theatre, and a biography of the pamphleteer Thomas Nashe, A Cup of News. He has also written a reconstruction of Sir Walter Raleigh's search for El Dorado, The Creature in the Map, and Somebody Else, which won the 1998 Hawthornden Prize and a biography of Christopher Marlowe, The Reckoning. Charles Nicholl is the author of nine books of history, biography and travel, including the celebrated The Reckoning- The Murder of Christopher Marlowe (winner of the James Tait Black Prize for Biography, and the Crime Writers' Association 'Gold Dagger' Award for non-fiction), Somebody Else- Arthur Rimbaud in Africa (winner of the Hawthornden Prize), The Fruit Palace and The Creature in the Map. He has presented two documentaries for British television, and has lectured in Britain, Italy and the United States. He lives in Italy with his wife and children.