LEONARDO DA VINCI 
AND THE BOOK OF DOOM
Bianca Sforza, the Sforziada and Artful Propaganda in Renaissance Milan

SIMON HEWITT
352pp 200 COLOUR PLATES 2019 LIST PRICE: £25.00 (P) AB19

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Description
A deep investigation into the politics and cynicism of Renaissance Milan. The author brings the tragic Bianca Sforza to life, suggests why and by whom she was likely murdered, and explains why Leonardo’s portrait of her was included in one of the most lavish books ever produced -- the Sforziada -- considered by many to be ‘a book of doom’ and whose co-illustrator, Giovan Pietro Birago, was paid even more than da Vinci. And in a final twist of discovery, Hewitt reveals how Birago’s artistic colleagues had no hesitation in lampooning the venerable da Vinci as a mere buffoon.

A magnificent journey through time. An amazing book from first page to last. FRANCOISE JOULIE, MUSÉE DU LOUVRE, PARIS