Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Leonardo da Vinci – London’s a flutter with a polymath’s art ... while his formula for trees is proving true today ...

His childhood home in Anchiano

“I want to work miracles” Leonardo scribbled in his cryptic mirror script – yes, he did write in ‘code’.   He drew, exposed, sketched, drafted, invented, peered into, calculated, dissected, mixed, painted and ultimately showed us the world ... that we might think, feel and respond to the wonderment of  this living earth with all its beings.

There has been a plethora of articles and programmes (many more to come, I am sure) about the new exhibition at The National Gallery – acclaimed as the single most amazing show ever.  Only 15 paintings have been attributed to Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) and of those, The National has brought together nine of them, tying them in with their  sketches, drawings, half-finished paintings and finally the finished masterpieces.

Lady with Ermine – painted 1489-90;  On loan from the Czartoryski Museum, Krakow.  (NB a stoat also known as an ermine).  

When I went to Milan a few years ago, my mother and I travelled down to the Museo D’Arte e Scienza where over 2,000 of Leonardo’s items are on display ... and bought a poster with many of his drawings, mirror writing, botanical sketches ... together these form a part of his knowledge base for the ‘curriculum vitae’ he boldly set out in a letter to the Duke of Milan in 1483.

Leonardo Military Engineer: Representation
of a scene from an imaginary battle fought
with armoured cars and deadly war
machines designed by Leonardo da Vinci 
This letter offered his services as a military engineer!  He claimed he was a master of most disciplines and then once appointed put his research capabilities to good use ... painting, sculpting, botanical analysis, dissecting human and animal anatomy, utilising mechanics, hydraulics, architecture, as well as military and civil engineering – then just add ‘master of revels’.

He designed the dome of Milan Cathedral – I’ve walked the roof! – stunning views – he rebuilt the Duke’s castle ... making it an impregnable fortress; he was an expert equestrian and became a master craftsman in bronze.

On the roof of Milan Cathedral

Leonardo had unlimited talents ... searching the earth, studying plants and insects, calculating that humans too one day would be able to fly ... and made over 100 drawings of the ‘Ornithopter’ – the basis for our helicopter.

Leonardo’s ornithopter design
Fortunately he lived in Renaissance times (1300s – 1600s) and perhaps (probably) is the greatest recognised genius of all time, endowed with the brain of a polymath to explore the whole range of human knowledge.  He bewitched the Dukes of Milan, the French King and all persons in between – much as he does the peoples of the world today.

The Museo in Milan has two permanent exhibitions dedicated to Leonardo ... “Leonardo the universal genius in the exhibiton: ‘Leonardo Citizen of Milan’” and “Leonardo the ingenious painter in the exhibition: ‘Treatise on Painting’”.  If you ever visit .. a place not to be missed.

Studies of the arm showing the movements made by the Biceps

Let the scrummage begin – the National Gallery, London  is already packed ... hot, sweaty, tired of standing up visitors will push and shove to get a close viewing ... despite the National’s best endeavours at capping the number of visitors to 180 every half hour – it will be crowded, and there’s no point pretending it won’t be.

Seeing any one painting of Leonardo’s – as many of us know by having had a chance to view the Mona Lisa at The Louvre in Paris ... this is not being shown here – is a marvel to behold .. so no wonder many wish to see this once in a lifetime exhibition.

Study of horse from Leonardo’s journals – Royal Library, Windsor Castle

As I mentioned many are clamouring to see the spellbinding genius in one place – to understand the hows and the whys in his work, why much was unfinished ... he was scrying not only into the structures, but also into the very soul of creation  ... he was getting into a relaxed and meditative stage focusing on the shapes and symbols we see, and trying to interpret what meaning they may have for us.

Leonardo had a rule for trees too!  Wired Science has an article noting Leonardo observed that a tree almost always grows so that the total thickness of the branches at a particular height is equal to the thickness of the trunk.

So the graceful taper of a tree trunk into branches, boughs and twigs is so familiar few of us notice Leonardo’s observation.

It involves fractals – here I come unstuck .. but the article explains!  Simply fractals are defined as rough or fragmented geometric shapes that can be split into parts, each of which is a reduced copy of the whole.

Leonardo's earliest known drawing -
the Arno Valley (1473) (Uffizi)
Botanists have hypothesized that Leonardo’s observation has something to do with how a tree pumps water from its roots to its leaves.  

Recently however scientists realised that it was the force of the wind caught by the leaves as it blew that caused most natural trees to grow in a fairly fractal fashion.

Eiffel Tower, Paris
The results of the research into wind-based damage, such as that caused by hurricanes when many trees are toppled across swathes of countryside ... may give scientists a greater understanding of the likely effects by the strength of the wind, and provide the answer to ‘the topple’ over effect, instead of a tree splintering into bits.

Man-made structures have been primarily designed by taking account of wind-loading considerations – bridges, the Eiffel Tower etc – so now trees have been added to the list ... originally observed by that polymath genius of half a millennia ago.

Virgin of the Rocks, Louvre:
demonstrates Leonardo's interest in
nature (this is on loan to the Exhibition)
Leonardo continues to fascinate us – as an artist, inventor, engineer, scientist, philosopher ... living at a time when it was perhaps possible to know much ... because he was smart, curious and observant – but it’s unlikely anyone will ever again be able to call himself master of all before.  Long may he continue to bewitch us as we marvel at his industriousness, foresight and vision.

Just one amazing man ... a sensational show ...

The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London – “Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at theCourt of Milan”

Leonardo da Vinci in Milan: Museo d’Arte e Scienza

Dear Mr Postman .. my mother would be pleased to know I was writing about Leonardo - she too was fascinated by him ...  

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


MorningAJ said...

Maybe I'm a Phillistine but I can't handle the length of queues to go and see even Leonardo's wonders. Unless I can arrange a private viewing I'm not going to be one of the shoving thousands.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Aj .. I didn't add that is probably my sentiment too .. Gauguin was pretty full, as was the Terracotta Army .. I'm just glad that I didn't have to queue for those too long .. so if you get a private viewing organised - please send me an invite! cheers Hilary

Linda said...

Fabulous post on an extraordinary man. I had no idea the depth of his knowledge and talents. What an eye opener. The exhibit would be quite the experience, but not something I can do.

MunirGhiasuddin said...

Oh, how I wish that I could go to the exibit but we waited too long to start travelling, you know the daily routine, kids college funds, mortgage etc. We can only do so much. You blog somewhat makes up for a lot of history that we missed out on.
Hello Hilary, how are you. Here, still crazy at work. Companies are trying to save money by hiring as few people as possible even for the holidays, making us all do things more than our own expertise. I do not like to complain. Hey, I have a job and am happy. A lot of us have two positions rolled in one any way. So Leonardo did too. Wait till I tell my coworkers that in a way we are all like Leonardo:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Linda .. Leonardo has influenced many areas of life .. and continues to do so (apparently)five hundred years later. I'm glad this post has given you some concept about him and his amazing abilities ..

@ Munir .. wouldn't it be wonderful to visit .. it will be packed! Delighted that you enjoy the blog and its historical aspects - many thanks.

Mum and I are fine .. life isn't easy here for a great many people and if you've got a job - I'd hang on to it .. at least you're busy .. I wonder what your coworkers will say about being similar to Leonardo?

Thanks Linda and Munir - cheers Hilary

Glynis Peters said...

Another fascinating post. He certainly was a man of talents. I am not one for waiting too long in queues, but I would wait to see his works.


Excelent post Hilary on an extraordinary man Hilary. I have never been to Italy so have not seen the wonders you have.

Have seen where Piscaso was born in Malaga when I lived in Spain.

Thanks for a lovely read.

Friko said...

Excellent article, Hilary, so much in one place, incl. obscure info, which I now won't have to look up for myself.

I doubt that I'll travel to the exhibition, the crowds are going to be unbelievable and there won't be many minutes for each person to gaze at the pictures.

Chase March said...

Math is all around us and eveident in nature. What a great lesson to pass on to kids who think it is just broing pencil and paper stuff they are forced to do at school.

Man, if I was over there, I would definitely check out this exhibit.

And a great read today. Thanks!

Mason Canyon said...

Hilary, I always learn so much from your post. A most interesting one today. Leonardo da Vinci was a very fascinating person.

Thoughts in Progress
Freelance Editing By Mason

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

A few years ago there was an exhibition celebrating da Vinci here in South Africa. We ended up spending hours, fascinated by the man. A true genius. Now he's one of those I'd like to invite to dinner to see what the man behind the genius was really like.

Judy, South Africa

Old Kitty said...

Are you going to this exhibition?!?! Oh wow you lucky thing!! Yay!! He truly is a most fascinating artist and all round amazing person! What a brain! I'm truly enjoying all the feauture articles about him - particularly in last weekend's Observer! And I love the "poster girl" being used to advertise the exhibition too - I think its "Portrait of a Woman" - the haughty young missy just watching something/someone just to the side of you - what an expression she wears! Amazing!

Take care

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Oh, I would absolutely love to see this exhibit, and it'd be worth every minute of that wait in line and every jostling elbow in the side. It's the long commute from here to there that I can't quite manage.

Joanne said...

Hilary, I hope you get to see this wonderful exhibit, maybe the end of the exhibit run will be less crowded? A few years back I saw an exhibit of van Gogh paintings, including Starry Night, at Yale University. Yale limited the viewers to just about a dozen or so at a time, and it was an amazing experience to witness the paintings like that.

Rubye Jack said...

Such an interesting post Hilary. I particularly like the part about fractals as the idea points to some sort of perfect design, and this sort of thing always pleases me. :)

Anonymous said...

DaVinci never ceases to fascinate even hundreds of years later. Like Einstein, he abhorred war. Yet he felt he needed to help in some way because there were forces at work that threatened them.

Davinci designed numerous weapons, including missiles, multi-barreled machine guns, grenades, mortars, and even a modern-style tank. He drew the line, however, with his plans for an underwater breathing device, which he refused to reveal, saying that men would likely use it for "evil in war.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Amazing man AND post. This would be an exhibition to remember, I can only imagine how wonderful it would be.


klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
Firstly, I wish to humbly apologise for not being more proactive on your wonderfully presented and written blog.
Hugely informative article about Leonardo da Vinci and I always enjoy the added snippets of information you delight us with.
The man's genius, the variety of his skills, even to this day, are still, very much in the public's awareness.
I would love to go and see his exhibition of paintings at The National Gallery. Of course, I would have to go in disguise. The media frenzy would be most unfair to all those wishing to see this man's incredible art.
And lastly, my dear friend, I wish to thank you for your emails and your kind, supportive comments on my latest posting. I'm very grateful.
Cheers and hugs, your way, Gary

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

Leonardo Da Vinci was way ahead of his time, a true genius. The part about trees is fascinating!

Duncan In Kuantan

Susan Scheid said...

"he was getting into a relaxed and meditative stage focusing on the shapes and symbols we see, and trying to interpret what meaning they may have for us." It's marvelous to think on this. Aren't we lucky that he did--to think of so much observation, invention, creation, in so many directions, coming out of this one man?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Glynis .. Leonardo has always fascinated me .. the Museum in Milan is amazing. But I do hate waiting in queues .. they now at least have timed tickets .. but it will still be packed.

@ Yvonne .. many thanks .. I'd love to see where Picasso was born - perhaps one day I will get there. Glad you enjoyed the read ..

@ Friko .. really appreciate your comment. I too doubt I'll get to the Exhibition .. and I gather it will be seconds for each item exhibited ...?! So very little - but perhaps a glance is better than no glance - perhaps!

@ Chase .. you're so right to pick up on the Maths (as we call it!) - but Leonardo does open up ideas for kids .. I hope you can use some of this for one of your classes.

Ah! said like a true enthusiast - very glad you enjoyed the post.

Thanks so much Glynis, Yvonne, Friko and Chase - lovely comments - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mason .. delighted you enjoyed the read .. Leonardo was indeed extraordinarily clever ..

@ Judy .. lucky South Africa I say - especially as you were able to take your time looking at his works and ideas. Of course - good selection for dinner .. I sometimes think who I'd ask .. now I know - excellent choice.

@ Old Kitty - no, I haven't got a ticket - and it looks as though it's all booked out. Glad you're enjoying all the articles about him .. I didn't see the Observer one - there will I'm sure be many more.

The poster girl - is the picture I've used in the post: "Lady with Ermine" .. they've used her face on the National Gallery banner.

@ Susan .. the commute would be a bit much I agree! I'd love to see the exhibit too - but I do hate crowds ..

Thanks Mason, Judy, Old Kitty and Susan - lovely seeing you here .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joanne - sadly I doubt it .. just too many people! But who knows ... the van Gogh paintings at Yale - must have been superb - lucky you to be part of privileged few. I've been lucky enough to see Turner and the Gauguin exhibitions recently .. great experience.

@ Rubye Jack - wonderful to see you here .. ah glad you enjoyed the part about fractals

I wanted to use this picture - but decided copyright in place .. it showed it perfectly I thought:

I hoped you might be able to come over and read the post - so it's great to have your comment from an artist's perspective.

@ Stephen .. you've obviously read up on da Vinci .. there are so many things he worked on .. the lists go on and on .. I wonder how he'd construct an underwater breathing device .. So glad to hear he thought war was evil.

@ Teresa .. he's always fascinated me .. so many things he found out about .. he was a visionary if there ever was one. I'd love to go to the Exhibition ... but ...

Thanks Joanne, Rubye Jack, Stephen and Teresa .. so glad you enjoyed the information re da Vinci .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Gary - thank you so much for coming by - I'm just glad my emails and comments are cheering, during your dark hours.

So I really appreciate you visiting and your thoughts here .. like you I'd love to go to the Exhibition .. I don't think I need a disguise though!

@ Duncan .. lovely to see you - glad you enjoyed the Wired Science article re the trees -

@ Susan .. I'm glad you picked up on that sentence .. I had no idea what 'scrying' meant - so having looked it up ... thought I'd include the description.

It's amazing that so much of his work has been saved and is available for us to access and pore over now .. fortunately he tended to stay in the employ of his masters ..

Who knows what journals may hold .. even now .... he was certainly constantly occupied - but the wonderful thing is he wrote his thoughts, ideas and drawings down ..

Apparently he thought words a poor substitute for seeing. No description, to him conveyed the insight, or complexity, of a drawing.

"My advice" he said, "is not to trouble yourself with words unless you are speaking to the blind".

Interesting paragraphs, I thought?!

Thanks Gary, Duncan and Susan - really appreciate your visits - cheers Hilary

quilthexle said...

Thanks for the head-up about the exhibition in London ... would love to see it ! Maybe I should check out those cheap flights ...
And thanks for gathering all that information - great post !!

S. Susan Deborah said...

Leonardo has always been an inspiration. Even today morning I was thinking of his usage of his left as well as right hand. He was a genius.

Thanks for this brilliant post, Hilary. Your topics are always cherry-picked and I relish him with great ardour.

Joy always,

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Thanks, Hilary, for reading my post to your group. It is interesting that marbles were used to detect tremors. Very interesting.

Have a great day!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Frauke ... if only there was space and it was easy to get to .. ! But so glad you enjoyed the information the post contained .. thank you.

@ Susan - was he ambidextrous - I guess that would make sense. I see he is .. after looking up mirror writing in Wiki!

Delighted you enjoyed it - I've been longing to write about Leonardo .. so perhaps it was a good thing I waited (inadvertently) til this exhibition was mounted and had a bit more to chat about, which I could tie in.

@ Teresa .. everyone was able to recall their memories for playing marbles .. and now I have the frog and his marbles to tell them about! They'll laugh about that as Nymans is in Sussex (here).

Cheers Frauke, Susan and Teresa .. great seeing you .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is wonderful. Jen LOVES Leonardo. She got interested in him in grade school. There's a scene in my memoir In the Mirror about what she and her dad did together each year to celebrate Leonardo's birthday. Together they bought gifts for everyone in our family, something to represent the inventor side of Leonardo; and Larry being a great cook worked with Jen to make a "creative" cake. It was great fun. The children kept this going a long time even after Larry and I divorced, and then two of my daughters had a falling out, sadly. But it was fun while it lasted. He was of course one of the greatest. Just LOVE what you've put together here!
Ann Best, Memoir Author of In the Mirror & Imprisoned

Anonymous said...

I never knew so much about Leonardo. I find this fascinating. Thank you for sharing this information. Glad to have found your blog!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ann - does she really? clever lady is your Jen.

What a lovely memory to have of the kids' time with your ex .. brilliant thought to do with them .. I wonder what was in the creative cake?

Good for the children and sorry it faded over time ..

What a fun comment to get .. and delighted this will cheer you and Jen for a few extra visits and reads ...

Jen - might enjoy Teresa's post about marbles and my comment on the frog at Nymans ..

@ Rebecca .. delighted you enjoyed the post - I emailed you re commenting on your blog which I can't do I'm afraid ..

Cheers Ann and Rebecca - thanks for coming by .. Hilary

Susan Scheid said...

Wow, this gets more and more interesting:

Apparently he thought words a poor substitute for seeing. No description, to him conveyed the insight, or complexity, of a drawing.

"My advice" he said, "is not to trouble yourself with words unless you are speaking to the blind".

Such a different way to see (well, yes, that's it, isn't it?) the world!

Manzanita said...

Wonderful exhilarating post. That man was truly blessed to hold such fascination for all this time. I can imagine people waiting, standing, shifting from foot to foot in anticipation BUT I don't think I could now either. I'll wait to read about your thoughts when you and AJ get your private viewing. :)

Elizabeth said...

What a fabulous blog. I love Italy too. :)



amy@ Souldipper said...

This great artist has intrigued me throughout my life. Of course, I would love to know much more about his life. Was he happy? Did he love deeply?

I saw the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Small, but such powerful energy.

Same energy with the Venus di Milo...

Same with pieces by Picasso - in a show I saw in Winnipeg in the 1970s.

Golden Eagle said...

Leonardo da Vinci was one amazing person!

Interesting about the trees--so that's why they're fractals.

Empty Nest Insider said...

My son studied engineering, so I can't wait to earn points by telling him about da Vinci's study of trees and how they are divided into fractals! The exhibit sounds incredible. Thanks for bringing so much culture into my life. Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan .. Leonardo has always fascinated me .. and these sentences came out of the The Times Saturday editorial .. and seemed to make sense - he must have some form of synesthesia. I find this 'seeing the world' so interesting and I'm pleased I'm finding out more about it .. very glad you picked these words out - and your last sentence .. does say it all!

@ Manzanita - thanks so much .. he had so much going on .. always looking, checking, researching, noting .. and have time to jot it down in mirror writing! Ok - when we get our private viewing organised .. AJ and I will invite you too!

@ ELizabeth - many thanks .. I've been across to your blog too - glad you enjoyed your visit.

@ Amy - there's a great deal of conjecture written about him .. and who knows .. but he lived fully that is for sure.

The two Louvre art works - I need to see both again .. incredible that they have survived so long and we can visit and actually see them.

Picasso's works must have been very fascinating to see .. one day I shall get a chance to see his works somewhere.

@ The Golden Eagle .. Leonardo will continue to inspire for many years to come ... and so pleased you too picked up about the trees ..

Thanks Susan, Manzanita, Elizabeth, Amy and The Golden Eagle .. good to see you and thanks for your interesting comments - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Julie .. I hope your son is duly impressed! I just loved that additional information coming to the fore at the time that this brilliant exhibition is being put on at the National. The exhibition will be superb I'm sure - just don't fancy the crowds etc etc

Pleasure about the culture .. it has to start here as I 'educate' myself! Cheers Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

I would love to visit the Museo d'Arte e Scienza. I saw the Mona Lisa in Paris, which is one of the least interesting things he did. He was amazing. Thanks for all these great pictures and facts.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Theresa .. the Museo in Milan is brilliant and there's a great arts and crafts area too .. as well as other fantastic museums, galleries etc .. and the Duomo .. so if you ever get there - enjoy it. The tube/metro system is a good one too ..

Glad you enjoyed the post - great to see you visit .. cheers Hilary

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Susan Scheid said...

Thought you'd be amused by this: your comment about da Vinci and the uselessness of words next to drawings was SO perfect that I quoted you (and him) in responding to comments on my current post.

Amanda Trought said...

Hilary, really enjoyed reading your post, very informative, I'm going to have to make a point of going to see the exhibition, you can get so engulfed by the cyber world! Have a really blessed weekend, looking forward to reading your posts next week!


Unknown said...

Another fascinating and informative post, Hilary. I really want to see the exhibition but, if you find out about these private viewings, do let me know. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan .. thank you - I've replied .. not quite in Urdu - but almost! That quote is interesting once we get time to dwell on it .. I will find that a fascinating thought for a while .. I want to write about synesthetes soon now I guess.

@ Amanda .. so pleased - as an artist .. you definitely should go to the Exhibition .. I hope you get ticket/s!

@ Shirley ... yes definitely AJ and I will invite you to our private viewing too .. just sad to think it might be in our dreams!

Thanks Susan, Amanda and Shirley .. you all have great weekends .. cheers Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

Da Vinci had an amazing mind for sure. He would probably not be all that surprised about where we've come to in modern times with our achievements since he was already planning a lot of them. What an incredible exhibit to visit at the National Gallery.

Interesting post.

Tossing It Out

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee .. Da Vinci certainly would be amazed at what we've done over the centuries wouldn't he ... I wonder what he would have invented - and seen into our future.

The Exhibition is amazing I gather .. thanks so much for coming over .. cheers Hilary

Juliet said...

thank you for this fascinating post Hilary. Leonardo was indeed a man of 'unlimited talents', as you say. He was an artist and a scientist at the same time

JJ said...

Hilary: Wonderful blog! I love your positivity. I am your newest follower.

Diane said...

Love the study of a horse but as a horse lover I guess that us understandable, I love all his paintings. I would love to see them all in real life.
Great post, Diane

Chris Edgar said...

Hi Hilary -- I noticed this piece stayed specifically focused on Leonardo, as opposed to exploring a broad range of topics -- it looks like, with him, you had a deeper level of interest than usual. Is that true?

Patricia said...

I have just arrived in San Francisco and am remembering the last time I was here I went to the museum to see the Leonardo De vinci exhibition - we spent the whole day as it was so fascinating.

I am on a borrowed computer will need to be brief

I am asking all my nice commenters to come over to Patricias Wisdom on Nov 24,25,26 to comment and enter to win a beautiful gift from me..I will mail it any where...

I just need to say thank you in a beautiful way...hope you will drop by

Janet Johnson said...

What a neat experience for you!

DaVinci is simply amazing. He is one person I would have loved to meat (though I probably would have been a bit tongue tied if I had!). :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Juliet - glad you enjoyed it - he was an amazing man .. one wonders where the ideas came from especially in the 1400s - extraordinary talent.

@ JJ - lovely to meet you and delighted you enjoyed the post ..I'll be over to see you soon (having connectivity problems) ..

@ Diane - I wondered if you lived in Charente because you were horse lovers .. I don't think you'll be making the return journey to London for a while .. mind you Milan probably is easier to get to!?

@ Chris - Perhaps my style has changed for Leonardo .. in a way I stayed true (I think) - as he was a polymath .. and I mentioned Milan with the exhibitions dedicated to him - and then Wired Science's fractal trees.

You've thrown me slightly!!

@ Patricia - enjoy SF .. wonderful to have seen the da Vinci exhibition there on your last visit - Mum and I were fascinated when we toured the Milan Museum.

I'll try and get over later in the week .. connectivity is an issue in the last few weeks .. frustrating me - to say the least!

@ Janet - well it would be if I go - but I think the tickets have probably gone .. and I hate crowds - though it has given me hope that I'll get back to Milan to the museums there.

Janet - you're like Judy Croome from South Africa .. and when she reminded me .. me ... it would be wonderful to meet him - he seemed to be able to work while others watched, or journalled around him.

Thanks Juliet, JJ, Diane, Chris, Patricia and Janet - lovely having you here .. enjoy Sunday - Hilary

Talli Roland said...

What an amazing man he was. I have the National Gallery on my to-do list shortly... I can't wait to see Leonardo's paintings!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talli - I sure hope you can get tickets .. it will be so interesting to hear your viewpoint .. it should be a wonderful exhibition ... cheers Hilary

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm so glad you're back! I missed you. I love Leonardo's work. Have you seen that show on Discovery Channel where they tested out his inventions? I love how he proved that art and science aren't as different as some might believe....

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Blonde Duck .. I'm around .. just having trouble with my connectivity for some reason ... Good to see you and thank you for missing me!

I haven't seen the Discovery Channel .. I don't subscribe to other services .. but that sounds a very interesting experiment and I would enjoy watching it .. one day! Now I know it's there ..

There's a lot of tie in between the different artistic and scientific disciplines're so right .. cheers Hilary

Karen Lange said...

Mr. daVinci's accomplishments were indeed amazing and ahead of his time. My kids and I watched a several part documentary about him when they were in school. I had no idea he's done so much. Thanks so much for sharing this, Hilary.

Hope your Mother is doing well.
Have a wonderful week,

Scarlett Clay said...

Wow, my mind is spinning a bit after the bit about fractals..he was such a genius! Thanks for these links..I love to look up things like this! SO intriguing!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Karen .. that documentary must have been very interesting and I wonder what your kids thought. Just glad I've rekindled your interest in his abilities ..

Thanks re my Ma - she's still interested in things, but does sleep loads or drift off! Understandably.

@ Scarlett .. just delighted you picked up on the fractals .. he certainly was a genius. I'm sure you'll enjoy the links. His life must have been incredible .. and as you say SO intriguing.

Lovely to see you both here ...

I'm still having some form of connectivity problems, but I'm around .. cheers everyone - Hilary

trump said...

I'm visiting new blogs today for the first time, so i also thought id wish you a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your readers. And i hope that the day is spent generating positive memories for years to come. Richard from Amish Stories. said...

I watched a TV programme about him once and realised he was an awesome man born before his time or maybe he invented time travel in the future?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Richard - good to see you again .. you too have a Happy Thanksgiving .. we don't have that celebration over here - we need to wait for Christmas for our turkey. Positive stories - always!

@ Madeleine .. I have probably seen odd things on Leonardo .. and perhaps they'll do a general programme update on his works, over and above the amazing art at the National Gallery. He certainly was way ahead in his thinking ..

Thanks Richard and Madeleine .. great to see you both - cheers Hilary

J.D. Meier said...

> He drew, exposed, sketched, drafted, invented, peered into, calculated, dissected, mixed, painted and ultimately showed us the world
What a great way to start off.

> endowed with the brain of a polymath to explore the whole range of human knowledge
That's quite the gift. Better yet, he seemed to explore beyond knowledge -- he created rich experiences.

> as an artist, inventor, engineer, scientist, philosopher
That's quite the portfolio of roles.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JD .. he'd have plenty of combinations of threes - wouldn't he?

I am just fascinated by him and by polymaths in particular .. they 'amuse' me .. ie I find them incredibly interesting and am always delighted to learn more about them.

Yes - I found that phrase "scrying not only into the structures, but also into the very soul of creation" extremely enlightening .. amazing what we pick up as we blog - I love the learning.

So good to see you .. cheers Hilary

A Lady's Life said...

excellent blog Hilary .
Happy Thanks giving Day to you!!!!