Leonardo da Vinci, the Complete Paintings and Drawings

OK, we’re half way into January, how’s your new year’s resolution going? To be honest this is the worst time to be giving up booze/fags/pasties/crack isn’t it? So instead of stoic abstinence we’ve vowed to look after our brains in 2012 by increasing the amount of culture in our lives. This month we’ve made a start by absorbing ourselves in the world of classic art by delving into these two fantastic volumes of Da Vinci’s drawings and paintings from Taschen. Though his paint work is without a doubt jaw-droppingly impressive, it’s his beautiful pencil skills that have kept us spellbound these on these long winter evenings huddled by the fire. Managing somehow to be both anatomically accurate and full of artistic flare, these early medical drawings also played a significant part in turning doctors away from superstitious nonsense and into the direction of modern medicine. Without Leo’s handiwork there’s a good chance that your local Boots could now be selling eye newt and wing of bat instead of Lemsips and Rennies. An essential piece of literature for budding art lovers, historians and scientists alike.

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