|Stillness and Peace|
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7in x 5in
colored pencil on paper
copyright 2012 Rose Welty
As I grow older, I seem to need to read for a good twenty minutes or longer before I am able to sleep in the evenings. Recently for that reading I've been dipping into some art history. I have a large set of Time-Life Library of Art books from my uncle. I started with the Leonardo volume.
I thought I'd share a few things I hadn't known about Leonardo da Vinci:
- We only have a handful of finished paintings from him. It seems universally accepted that this is because he was a procrastinator and rarely finished anything. I think this surprises me because I had assumed his discipline in clear thinking would lead to discipline elsewhere in his life.
- We have his extensive notes, which are a jumble. Although he clearly wrote many things down, he didn't attempt to do so in any order nor did he include more than a handful of personal statements. I was rather surprised that such an enterprising mind, that thought through so many details, didn't see much value in an orderly system of recording his thoughts. (He did make a comment that once he was done with his notes he would go back and order them, but even he had to doubt that at some point.)
- He made costumes and designed sets. The book I'm reading says that this was common in the day and something that da Vinci enjoyed.
- He designed castle towers, exploding bombs (filled with what would later be called shrapnel after a later inventor), and discussed troop movements in his notebooks. He even submitted designs for a city layout.
Just looking at this list, it's rather a "do not do" sort of list you get in modern business books (don't procrastinate, always finish jobs, keep orderly notes, have orderly processes, specialize in one area, have a niche - don't try to be everything to everyone). Is it that times change or genius endures the centuries?