Galileo an excellent biography published in 1952, brings Elma Levinger's work to mind and characterizes the quality of this, which begins when Leonardo as a young man is testing his fortune in Florence, in 1477. As she does throughout the book, the author paints a remarkably full picture of the times- political rivalries, the cross-currents of religious and artistic opinion and the extremely colorful surroundings. Then focussing on Leonardo, she goes back to his childhood and its hardships and graphically portrays his growing interests in nature and art. Later, at Ludovico's court in Milan, there are the fierce personal competitions and their bearing on Leonardo's work- which was so fantastic for his day and for which he never had enough time. And behind the work- the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, the airplanes and the civic planning- there is Leonardo's ever questing spirit. A full and vivid account.