Mike Lankford

In a book unlike anything ever written about the Renaissance genius, Mike Lankford explodes every cliché about Leonardo da Vinci and then reconstructs him based on a rich trove of available evidence — bringing to life for the modern reader the man who has been studied by scholars for centuries, yet has remained as mysterious as ever.

Seeking to envision da Vinci without the obscuring residue of historical varnish, the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of Renaissance Italy—usually missing in other biographies—are all here, transporting readers back to a world of war and plague and court intrigue, of viciously competitive famous artists, of murderous tyrants with exquisite tastes in art…

Lankford brilliantly captures da Vinci’s life as the compelling and dangerous adventure it seems to have actually been—fleeing from one sanctuary to the next, somehow surviving in war zones beside his friend Machiavelli, struggling to make art his way or no way at all… and often paying dearly for those decisions.

It is a thrilling and absorbing journey into the life of a ferociously dedicated loner, whose artwork in one way or another represents his noble rebellion, providing inspiration that is timeless.

MIKE LANKFORD is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and the author of Life in Double Time: Confessions of an American Drummer, a memoir about his years as a white drummer in a black R&B band. The book was an Amazon editor’s pick, and was selected by eight major newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and the Austin Chronicle, as the best music book of the year.