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Leonardo Da Vinci, Georg Gronau  First Edition 1914

Leonardo Da Vinci by Georg Gronau 1914

Leonardo Da Vinci by Georg Gronau

First English Edition 1914

About the Book: Preface

Dr Gronau writes

“Whoever undertakes to speak of Leonardo, of his life and art, must be conscious that he has only fragments to offer. Fragmentary indeed is all that we positively know of the external conditions under which he produced his works. Fragmentary too is all that we possess of his artistic legacy. And the most precious treasures that Leonardo left behind him – his drawings – have neither been reproduced collectively by the resources of modern skill, nor adequately examined from the critical point of view.

In a book intended to be read by such as find pleasure in art, there is no place for the any controversies which have arisen over the authenticity of some of his works. The critical questions the author was obliged to settle for himself and to state his own views as actual facts.

Moreover, the other side of this genius-his scientific work- could not be considered here. But the publication of Leonardo’s collected manuscripts will enable every one to gain an insight into the colossal speculations of his great mind.

I feel myself under the most sincere obligation to Mr Bernhard Berenson for the valuable aid which he has rendered me in my work. To him is due the interesting conjecture that Leonardo has let behind his own portrait in the ‘Adoration of the Kings.’ Mr Berenson has also kindly placed at my disposal the photographs taken specially for him. I have thank furthermore Dr. J. P. Ritcher for permission to reproduce some of the plates from his book ‘The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci.”


This book originally sold through Selfridges in London and has the original Book Sellers ticket – rear inside cover -

Book Type: Green cloth covered hard back book with gilt lettering and decoration. Scarce to find.

Publisher: Duckworth & Co. Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London

Edition: First edition published by E P Dutton USA 1903. (Red Cover)

This is the first edition English copy reissued 1914. ‘This essay has been translated from Dr. Gronau’s German MS. by Frederic Pledge.

Out of Print -only a few original 1914 copies available online.

Size: 22.5cm x 14cm

Number of pages: 104 Pages

Illustrations: 32 sepia toned photographic images – many have hand written annotations in pencil next to the images.



Leonardo’s Life

Early Works

The adoration of the Kings

Equestrian Moments

La Vierge aux Rochers

The Last Supper

The ‘Saint Anna’


The Cartoons of “The Battle of Anghiari”

The “Mona Lisa”

The “John the Baptist”

On Leonardo’s “Treatise on Painting”

Some Works on Leonardo


‘List of Photogravures’ and location of picture 1903 as per image 8

An addendum inserted above the list of photographs stating: “The ‘Study for St. Anna (Venice) page 78 and ‘The Fight for the Standard. Central part of the ‘Battle of Anghiari (Louvre), copied from Reubens, page 86 have been substituted for ‘the Head of an Angel’ (Turin) and ‘Landscape’ 1473 (Uffizi) in this list.

Very mysterious as the Study for St Anna VENICE page 78 is included, but Head of Angel TURIN and Landscape UFFIZI are both missing, raising a query as it potentially looks like they were not put in this edition of the book?

Frontispiece La Vierge aux Rochiers (or Virgin of the Rocks) LOUVRE

Study for St Anna VENICE page 78 extra


Biography of Author:

Art historian and critic Dr Georg Hermann Gronau was born in 1868. He studied at the universities of Bonn and Berlin, with his research interest focussing on Venetian art. In the 1890s he purchased an Italian villa, San Domenico, in Fiesole, where he lived until 1910. From there he wrote books on Titian (1900 and in English translation in 1904), Raphael (1902), Leonardo (1903), Correggio (1907) and the Bellini family (1909). In 1910 he moved back to Germany to become the Director of the Royal Gallery in Cassel, a position which he held for 14 years. During World War I his eldest son was killed in combat. Georg Gronau retired from the Cassel Gallery in 1924 and returned to live at San Domenico in 1929. His Bellini chronology was published in 1930. He died at home in Fiesole Italy in Dec 1937.


CONDITION: A good copy of a scarce 108-year-old book – an informative and comprehensive guide suitable for anyone interested in Leonardo da Vinci.

Covers: Decorative Green cloth covers are grubby with age-related wear and some fading bottom right front with a white splodge top right as image. Scuffing to the outer edges.

Binding: Sloping

Spine: Age related wear, scuffing and some small tearing at edges

Pages. All pages complete. Two loose images in book as detailed. Outer fore pages have age-related wear with light foxing. Pages within are age toned, yellowing. Some pages will have creasing. Some images have creasing in the corners.


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