PLEDGE NOW
Leonardo Da Vinci And Humanism’s Blueprint

Leonardo da Vinci and the most famous drawing in history. His Vitruvian Man, arms and legs outstretched in a circle. Leonardo’s vision of the world.

The Vitruvian Man drawing by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487.

The Vitruvian Man drawing by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487.

The image is impossible to forget once you’ve seen it.  Leonardo DaVinci’s “Vitruvian Man” – the bold, nude, outstretched human figure; arms and legs flung wide to the boundaries of a circle and a square.  The “guy doing naked jumping jacks.”

Symbol of man in the universe, man as the universe.  The grandeur of art.  The nature of well-being.  The power of geometry.  The ideals of the Renaissance.  The beauty of the human body.  The creative potential of the human mind.  The most famous drawing in history.

This hour, On Point:  we’ll look at the origins and secrets of Leonardo’s “Vitruvian Man.”

-Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

Toby Lester, author of Da Vinci’s Ghost: Genius, Obsession, and How Leonardo Created the World in His Own Image.

C-Segment: The Two Mona Lisas

Matthew Landrus, leading expert on Leonardo da Vinci. Art historian at Oxford University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “In the richly rewarding history “Da Vinci’s Ghost,” Toby ­Lester, a contributing editor at The Atlantic, shows that Leonardo had long been fascinated by the concept of man as a microcosm of the universe. ”

Smithsonian Magazine “When Sgarbi took a look at it, he discovered, to his amazement, that in fact it contained almost the full text of the Ten Books, along with 127 drawings. Moreover, it showed every sign of having been produced during the late 1400s, years before anyone was known to have systematically illustrated the work.”

MSNBC “A “Mona Lisa” copy owned by Spain’s Prado Museum was almost certainly painted by one of Leonardo da Vinci’s apprentices alongside the master himself as he did the original, museum officials said Wednesday.”

More

You can find a collection of other “Vitruvian Men” here compiled by Stanford University.

The Vitruvian Man drawing by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487.

The Vitruvian Man drawing by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487.

Taccola’s interpretation of the Vitruvian man (© Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza)

Taccola’s interpretation of the Vitruvian man (© Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza)

View of a Skull (da Vinci c. 1489)

View of a Skull (da Vinci c. 1489)

Universal Man  by Hildegard of Bingen c. 1165 Biblioteca Statale , Lucca.

Universal Man by Hildegard of Bingen c. 1165 Biblioteca Statale , Lucca.

Photos: The Two Mona Lisas

Mona Lisa (Musée du Louvre)

Mona Lisa (Musée du Louvre)

The restored copy of La Gioconda in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. The work is believed to have been made by an apprentice of Leonardo's, possibly at the same time as the original.

The restored copy of La Gioconda in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. The work is believed to have been made by an apprentice of Leonardo's, possibly at the same time as the original.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 6, 2015
President Barack Obama speaks during services honoring the life of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Charleston, S.C., at the College of Charleston TD Arena. Pinckney was one of the nine people killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME Church last week in Charleston.  (AP)

How should we talk about faith and God in these uncertain times? We put that tough question—and more—to a roundtable of religious thinkers.

Jul 6, 2015
A still from the upcoming documentary film, "Tough Love." (Courtesy PBS / The Filmmakers)

An intimate look at the foster care system from the perspective of two families struggling to reunite with their children.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 3, 2015
Harmonica master Howard Levy, in a photo dated February 2012. (Courtesy the Artist)

Harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy tears it up with us. From Bach to the blues.

 
Jul 3, 2015
Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the YES vote for the upcoming referendum in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens, Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Greece's European creditors were assessing a last-minute proposal Athens made for a new two-year rescue deal, submitted just hours before the country's international bailout program expires and it loses access to billions of euros in funds. (AP)

Overtime pay. Diplomatic ties with Cuba. Greece defaults. Iran deadline missed. Chris Christie jumps in. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 3, 2015
Friday, Jul 3, 2015

We made a lot of last-minute programming changes these past few weeks, and you stuck around with us through it all. Thanks!

More »
1 Comment
 
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
9 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment