Leonardo da Vinci and the Codex Huygens

The Codex Huygens is a Renaissance manuscript for a treatise on painting closely related to Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519). Its author has been identified as the North Italian artist Carlo Urbino (ca. 1510/20–after 1585), who must have been familiar with Leonardo’s notes before they were dispersed. Some of the drawings are faithful copies of now … Continue reading “Leonardo da Vinci and the Codex Huygens”

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The imagination of Leonardo da Vinci

“To truly be creative, you have to work across disciplines,” says author Walter Isaacson on Leonardo da Vinci’s creative genius. After five years of writing and research (‘gathering string’) comes the eponymous book , due out this October but available for . Two things stuck out at the most in the above conversation: Even Leonardo … Continue reading “The imagination of Leonardo da Vinci”

Bill Gates on the genius of Leonardo da Vinci

A good book review from Bill Gates on Walter Isaacson’s latest book Leonardo da Vinci. More than any other Leonardo book I’ve read, this one helps you see him as a complete human being and understand just how special he was. He came close to understanding almost all of what was known on the planet … Continue reading “Bill Gates on the genius of Leonardo da Vinci”

Leonardo Da Vinci: Thinking with an extra wrinkle in the brain

No artist contained an extra wrinkle in their brain as big as Leonardo Da Vinci. He was a creative genius who combined the disciplines of both art and science to make something new. Leonardo’s formula: see, contemplate, emulate, remix, and recast. His undivided mind drove his imagination which led him toward discovery and innovation. He was … Continue reading “Leonardo Da Vinci: Thinking with an extra wrinkle in the brain”

Why Leonardo da Vinci wrote backward

Leonardo da Vinci wrote backward (mirror writing) because he didn’t want others stealing his ideas. Writes Da Vinci biographer Rachel A. Koestler-Grack: “The observations in his notebooks were written in such a way that they could be read only by holding the books up to a mirror.” But did a genius who combined art and … Continue reading “Why Leonardo da Vinci wrote backward”

‘Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else’

‘Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.’ — Leonard Da Vinci Read more about Leonardo Da Vinci on the blog: Why Leonardo da Vinci wrote backward The undivided mind Leonardo Da Vinci: Thinking with an extra wrinkle in the brain ‘Water is itself the obstacle to water’ Study of five grotesque heads, … Continue reading “‘Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else’”

Lessons from a genius

Leonardo da Vinci had almost no schooling and could barely read Latin or do long division. His genius was of the type we can understand, even take lessons from. It was on skills we can aspire to improve in ourselves, such as curiosity and intense observation. — Walter Isaacson, Leonardo Da Vinci We get caught … Continue reading “Lessons from a genius”

Leonardo’s To-Do List

In his book Da Vinci’s Ghost: Genius, Obsession, and How Leonardo Created the World in His Own Image, historian Toby Lester translates one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s to-do lists. On it includes tasks like “calculate the measurement of Milan and suburbs” and “examine the crossbow of Maestro Ganneto.” It is no wonder the polymath is often … Continue reading “Leonardo’s To-Do List”

‘Water is itself the obstacle to water’

Leonardo da Vinci obsessed with water more than any of his multidisciplinary interests: architecture, science, painting, and sculpture. For , the current represented that perfect chaos that separated air from water. In his Book on Waters, he wrote: Nothing shares a surface with something and something shares a surface with nothingness. And the surface of … Continue reading “‘Water is itself the obstacle to water’”

‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” wrote Leonardo Da Vinci. He would paint over work that didn’t meet up with his expectations. Simplicity is the reduction of complexity. It subtracts the gray space in the middle and renders it black and white. Simplicity comes from revision Simplicity retains the essence and deletes the rest. Take a … Continue reading “‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’”

The undivided mind

Wonder sits at the intersection of science and art. Combining the two disciplines is what fueled Leonard Da Vinci’s creative genius. The imagination needs time to daydream and gather string, letting the unconscious connect the dots between disparate things. Said author on the artist in his new book , “procrastinating like Leonardo requires work: It … Continue reading “The undivided mind”

Gathering string 

I perceived a delta flanking amid the rocks, even before the slightest flash of interpretation. Sight precedes inquisitiveness. “Describe the tongue of a woodpecker,” howled Leonardo Da Vinci, standing atop the forest trees. Curiosity drafts for curiosity’s sake. We can all spot patterns in a state of wonder.

Study of five grotesque heads, 1493

From the 16th to 18th century, Leonardo da Vinci’s grotesque sketches from the High Renaissance period in 1493 were his most emulated and celebrated works of art. Wrote art historian Kenneth Clark: ‘For three centuries they were [seen as] the most typical of his works. Today we find them disgusting, or at best wearisome.’ The beauty … Continue reading “Study of five grotesque heads, 1493”

Leonardo da Vinci’s resume, distraction as an ‘obesity for the mind,’ Einstein’s celebrity, new tunes, and more!

Links Worth Reading Leonardo da Vinci’s resume “I can carry out sculpture in marble, bronze, or clay, and also I can do in painting whatever may be done, as well as any other, be he who he may.” So wrote Leonardo da Vinci in his resume to the Duke of Milan. Your future employer cares … Continue reading “Leonardo da Vinci’s resume, distraction as an ‘obesity for the mind,’ Einstein’s celebrity, new tunes, and more!”

The great German artist Albrecht Dürer

Envious of the Italian artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, the German artist Albrecht Dürer ventured to Italy in 1496 to prove his worth as a painter. He had already gained a reputation for his woodcut prints. After years of hanging out in Venice and gathering the technique of oil paintings, he created one … Continue reading “The great German artist Albrecht Dürer”