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Leonardo da Vinci Picture Study Aid and Art Prints

This 25-page Picture Study Aid includes a summary of the childhood of Italian High Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), a synopsis of seven of his works, printable versions of the pieces covered (or professionally printed versions are also available), and a brief discussion about Charlotte Mason’s ideas and methods for implementing picture study at different ages.

Leonardo da Vinci’s parentage and the fact that his parents were not married is often mentioned in books about him. Keep this in mind when selecting books and be sure to pre-read if this is a concern for your family.

Leonardo da Vinci

By Elizabeth Ripley

A biography “with drawings and paintings by Leonardo.” This was originally published in 1952 so may be difficult to find, but I was able to find a copy through interlibrary loan, and it is also available on Amazon and eBay. Does include a sketch of a hanged man. Ages 12-16.

Leonardo da Vinci (Art For Children)

By Ernest Raboff

I really enjoy this series of art books from Ernest Roboff. They are beautifully laid out and illustrated and give unique glimpses at the artists they cover. They are no longer in print, but you can sometimes find them used on eBay or Amazon. Ages 9-12.

Leonardo da Vinci

By Emily Hahn

This is scheduled for AmblesideOnline Year 3 and gives a good overview of Da Vinci’s life. Ages 8+

A Weekend with Leonardo da Vinci

By Rosabianca Skira-Venturi

“The fifteenth-century artist talks about his life and work as if entertaining the reader for a weekend.” Ages 8-12.

Leonardo, the Beautiful Dreamer

By Robert Byrd

“Famous in his time as a painter, prankster, and philosopher, Leonardo da Vinci was also a musician, sculptor, and engineer for dukes, popes, and kings. What remains of his work-from futuristic designs and scientific inquiry to artwork of ethereal beauty-reveals the ambitious, unpredictable brilliance of a visionary, and a timeless dreamer.
Robert Byrd celebrates this passionate, playful genius in a glowing picture book replete with the richness and imagination of Leonardo’s own notebooks. Twenty lavish spreads, including side drawings, supplemental texts, and quotes from Leonardo’s writings, highlight distinct periods and make the master’s art, jokes, explorations, and inventions wonderfully vivid and accessible. A striking tribute to an irrepressible mind and to the potential within all who are curious.”
There is a brief mention of Leonardo’s work on cadavers. Ages 7-10.

Leonardo’s Horse

By Robert Byrd

“Fritz again calls upon her informal yet informative style to spotlight a scintillating sliver of history, recounted in two related tales. Her narrative opens as the ultimate Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci, earns a commission from the duke of Milan to create a sculpture to honor the duke’s father a bronze horse three times larger than life. Though this creative genius spent years on the project, he died without realizing his dream and, writes Fritz, ‘It was said that even on his deathbed, Leonardo wept for his horse.’ The author then fast-forwards to 1977: an American named Charles Dent vows to create the sculpture and make it a gift from the American people to the residents of Italy. How his goal was accomplished (alas, posthumously) makes for an intriguing tale that Fritz deftly relays. Talbott’s diverse multimedia artwork includes reproductions of da Vinci’s notebooks, panoramas revealing the Renaissance in lavish detail and majestic renderings of the final equine sculpture. Talbott makes creative use of the book’s format a rectangle topped by a semi-circle: the rounded space by turns becomes a window through which da Vinci views a cloud shaped like a flying horse; the domed building that was Dent’s studio and gallery; and a globe depicting the route the bronze horse travels on its way from the U.S. to Italy. An inventive introduction to the Renaissance and one of its masters.” Ages 6-9.

Leonardo Da Vinci

By Diane Stanley

“An unwanted child. A brilliant genius. Born in 1452 to a peasant woman and a country gentleman, Leonardo da Vinci was one of the most amazing people who ever lived. He grew up to be a great painter, sculptor, architect, scientist, and inventor. As a boy, Leonardo was apprenticed to a famous artist. But he quickly became more skillful than his teacher, and his passionate interests went far beyond art. Fascinated with the human body, he carried out his own experiments in secret. He filled thousands of pages with plans for incredible inventions including a submarine, an air-cooling system, ‘glasses to see the moon large,’ and even a flying machine! In this magnificent addition to a distinguished series, award-winning author-artist Diane Stanley blends wonderful storytelling with gorgeous illustrations to convey the stunning scope of Leonardo da Vinci’s genius in a book that has won many awards and earned two starred reviews.” Ages 4-8.

Leonardo and the Flying Boy

By Laurence Anholt

“Discover the world of wonder that awaits on your doorstep, with this beautiful activity book from the author and illustrator of Natures Day. Learn how to spot different leaves, birds, flowers, and insects, make plaster-cast animal tracks, mimic birdsong, and write a poem inspired by a walk in the woods.” Ages 3-7.

Discovering Great Artists

By Maryann F. Kohl

“‘Discovering Great Artists’ has 75 great artists featured in 110 amazingly fun and unique quality art appreciation activities for children. They will experience the styles and techniques of the great masters, from the Renaissance to the Present. A brief biography of each artist is included with a fully illustrated, child-tested art activity, featuring painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, architecture, and more. Includes such greats as Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Monet, Degas, Picasso, Van Gogh, Dali, Matisse, Pollock, and O’Keeffe. 1998 Benjamin Franklin Silver Award, 2002 Practical Homeschooling Reader Award. Full ‘click-to’ resource guide at Bright Ring’s website to show each artist’s most famous works.” Ages 3-12. (Includes two Leonardo da Vinci projects.)