In this engaging and thoroughly researched biography, Charles Nicholl uncovers the man behind the myth of the great Renaissance master. At times a painter, sculptor, inventor, draftsman, and anatomist, Leonardo’s life cannot easily be summarized. And yet, Nicholl skillfully traces the artist’s early days as an illegitimate child in Tuscany; his apprenticeship with Verrocchio in Florence; his service with some of the most powerful Renaissance families; his relationships with Michelangelo and Machiavelli; and his final days at the French royal court. In addition, Nicholl looks beyond the well-known stories of Leonardo’s famous masterpieces, and gives us a glimpse into the artist’s everyday life. We learn of Leonardo’s penchant for jokes, his fascination with flight, his obsessive note making, and even what he ate. Nicholl weaves these details together in a fascinating portrait that goes far towards revealing the enigmatic figure who continues to fascinate present-day readers.