LONG before Cher, Madonna or Beyonce, Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519) was simply the single-named Leonardo. He was “an Italian polymath of the Renaissance whose areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture.”
His art is STILL in the news. From the 31 March 2019 New York Times: “It’s the most expensive painting ever auctioned. Now there’s no sign of it… Since a Saudi royal, most likely the crown prince, paid $450 million for ‘Salvator Mundi,’ it has vanished from view.”
People throw around the term “Renaissance man” to describe someone who is interested in many topics. Leonardo is the OG of the term, and during the period, no less. “He was a painter, architect, inventor, and student of all things scientific.”
Leonardo was “a man whose seemingly infinite curiosity was equalled only by his powers of invention. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.”
The Last Supper was redone by such diverse artists as Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol. “Sculptor Marisol Escobar rendered [it] as a life-sized, three-dimensional, sculptural assemblage using painted and drawn wood, plywood, brownstone, plaster, and aluminum. This work, Self-Portrait Looking at The Last Supper, (1982–84) is in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.”
The Mona Lisa has been described as “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world.” Dalí and Warhol are among the many caricaturists.
As we approach the 500th anniversary of his death, I invite you to rediscover Leonardo.