Categories
Arts Creativity

Leonardo’s strange faces

There’s an excellent piece in the NY Times about Leonardo Da Vinci’s obsession with drawing weird faces:

Leonardo was a true Renaissance man, fascinated with everything — the mechanics of flight, architecture, engineering, botany, artillery and human anatomy — but one of his favorite private pastimes was to draw faces, either as scribbles in the margins of his notebooks or as fully conceived sketches later used for paintings.

Leonardo da Vinci made ugly beautiful, an approach Francis Bacon did well to mimic nearly five hundred years later.

Categories
Arts Creativity Life & Philosophy

Leonardo’s To-Do List

In his  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 .”

It is no wonder the polymath is often referred to as the genius of them all. 

Below is the original list, along with NPR’s illustrated translation.  

Wendy MacNaughton for NPR
Categories
Arts Creativity

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 lost originals by Leonardo. Others, like the Vitruvian Man, are related to Leonardo but independent interpretations in their own right. The extant manuscript, which appears to be only a fragment, includes five sections (books or regole).

Leonardo da Vinci: Treasures from the Biblioteca Reale, Turin

Copy-paste, retweet, regram. We have it so easy.

Can you imagine having followers who traced your work so these pieces could live on?

More Leo

Categories
Books

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 at the time. That’s partly because scientific knowledge was relatively limited back then, partly because he had a high IQ, but mostly because he was insatiably curious about pretty much every area of natural science and the human experience. He studied, in meticulous detail, everything from the flow of water and the rise of smoke to the muscles you use when you smile.

Curiosity is king.

https://wellsbaum.blog/2018/03/16/leonardo-da-vinci-thinking-with-an-extra-wrinkle-in-the-brain/

https://wellsbaum.blog/2017/11/13/why-leonardo-da-vinci-wrote-backward/

https://wellsbaum.blog/2017/07/04/the-imagination-of-leonardo-da-vinci/

Categories
Arts Books Quotes

‘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:

Categories
Arts Daily Prompts History

‘Water is itself the obstacle to water’

gif by Living Stills

Leonardo da Vinci obsessed with water more than any of his multidisciplinary interests: architecture, science, painting, and sculpture.

For Leonardo da Vinci, 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 something is not part of that thing, whence it follows that the surface of nothingness is part of nothingness, whence it follows that a single surface is the limit between two things that are in contact. Since the surface of water is not part of the water, and hence is not part of the air or of other bodies placed between them, what is it then that divides the air from the water?

Below is one of Leonardo’s sketches on the movement of water from 1508. It demonstrates the paradox of water in, around, and again itself.

Leonardo, da Vinci, 1508-09 (Paris MS. F)

Writes art historian Irving Lavin, Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies at the Institue of Advanced Study:

…water in percussion: that is, water is itself the obstacle to water, and in this case the contrast is between the resulting currents on the surface, under the surface, and surging upward carrying bubbles of entrapped air. The relationship between air and water, both in combination and as analogous media, was also a subject that greatly preoccupied Leonardo and played a critical role in the development of his thought that concerns me here.

The structure of a stream lies within its anti-structure. There’s the unpredictable and disruptive movement of its flow. Yet freshwater slithers over rocks, persisting unperturbed all the way into the mouth of the river.

The chaos of running water seems to be why it works.

Read Leonardo’s Watery Chaos