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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.

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  • still just cory

    My interpretation of humanism is that man is more than an animal, and should demand more of himself and others.  Humanism and free-market democracy are not entirely compatible.  Humanist views would find it difficult to systematically harm or discriminate against individuals or groups of individuals.

    Maybe American culture could use a little dose of humanism. 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Humanism and free-market democracy are entirely compatible, since humanism says that a human being has the right of choice and individuality.

    • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

      >> Maybe American culture could use a little dose of humanism. <<

      And a LOT more altruism.

  • Ed

    Leonardo Da Vinci was a baptized Catholic and studied Catholic themes – the many Virgin and Childs, the Last Supper. The Vitruvian Man is no doubt an expression of the connection between Platonic philosophy and the perfect form on the human being, but it could be also a meditation on the Eucharist: in this Host, is a Person.

    • Anonymous

      Actually the drawing is more about the canon of proportions for drawing the human form than anything else. It’s also based on Greek ideas of beauty and the human form and how it relates to PHI or the golden ratio of 1.618.

      From what I’ve read of Da Vinci’ writings the church was more of an inconvenience than something he was into worshiping. Now if you were talking about Michelangelo that would be a different story, here was a man who was very pious and almost lived like a monk.  

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       When the church is writing the checks, you paint what the church wants.  Leonardo the man was not exactly an orthodox Catholic.

    • Anonymous

      It looks homo-erotic. 

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         Well, if he were doing jumping jacks. . .

      • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

        Well, of course to you, it would…

        AND: after all, Leonarda is rumoured to have been gay. (at least according to the gay cabal)

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Dan Brown gives a FASCINATING explaination of DaVinci’s ‘Vitruvian Man’, in the book “The DaVinci Code”.
       There is also the best explaination, that I have heard or read, of why societies treat women the way that they do!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Dan Brown?  Oh, please, he’s a hack.

      • Modavations

        Terry likes him because he’s anti religious.It’s that simple

    • Adks12020

      Dan Brown writes fiction novels.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         That statement is fiction.  Dan Brown copies other people’s ideas and turns them into rubbish.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Jules Verne wrote Science Fiction novels, that BECAME Science FACT?
           Isaac Asimov wrote Science Fiction, AND Science Fact, WAS a Scientist?
           MANY ‘novels’ of fiction have facts and concepts of truth?
           I STILL consider the explaination the best that I have heard, or read!

        • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

           Please DO NOT compare this preposterous Dan Brown to Isaac Asimov or Jules Verne!
          Or Arthur C. Clarke for that matter!

          • Modavations

            agreed 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I like Clarke, too!!

  • Ellen Dibble

    I wonder if Lisa was a model or actually came to own her own portrait. If so, I’m thinking she would choose the apprentice’s work, not that it’s the better composition, but for the blue, the red, the drape of the shawl, the pink of the skin, the way of standing out from the landscape rather than being almost part of it.  

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       This does make me wonder what the original would look like if it were cleaned.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Me too.  I heard on ATC one evening that this Lisa was a young woman, and so I think Leonardo da Vinci maybe infused her actual younger and more open look with the more shaded and reserved look of his masterpiece.  The Mona Lisa to me looks older.   

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Yup–the copy looks like a teenager to me.

    • Yar

      Ellen, I like the apprentice’s work better because the expression in the eye and the arc around the left eye, (on the right of the picture) shows a bit of attitude.  Maybe a little snarky, I don’t know.  It may be because it has sharper lines.  Anyway I agree, given the choice, I would want the picture on the right.

    • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

      Note that the proportion her face is done (as precisely as was possible) to the Golden Mean.  Perhaps this is what makes her so striking.

  • Yar

    Does art make us human?  The farthest we have sent our art from our home planet is on the pioneer spacecraft.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pioneer_plaque.svg 

    Was it conceived by the 
    Vitruvian Man?
    I am not sure, I see art in a bird’s nest, or a bee hive.

  • jim

    I was more amazed by his blue print or sketch of his mechanical work. one of his work looks like a modern helicopter. his imagination is completely and utterly beyond his time. it is wordlessly incredible.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

     I’m left handed too.  When I was in elementary school, I’d get a pencil smudge on the side of my left hand.  It occurred to me much later that Hebrew would have been a good language for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Daly/100001653422318 Chris Daly

    Wonderful topic. Here’s a photo of me that my wife took at the Sol Lewitt exhibit at MassMOCA

  • Wingswork

    There is a definite difference between the eyes in Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the eyes in his apprentice’s. Da Vinci’s is more secretive and seductive, the other’s more innocent and open. Very different interpretation and meaning while the mouth remains the same.

    • Jenndjc

      You are describing the technique, “sfumato”. Leonardo perfected it. The “secretive and seductive” qualities you described are achieved through the brilliant mastery of light and shadow – the sfumato – (smoke in Italian)- created her famous mystery. The apprentice may not have mastered the technique or was merely completing a lesson.

  • Ed

    And in the Christian view, our bodies are the temple of God, so it makes sense that it is the utimate form.

    • Anonymous

      Why are they so afraid of them then? 

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The idea of humanism is that we define the universe because we perceive it and understand it.  Humanism asserts that we have a right to understand and to draw our own conclusions without reference to some other authority.

  • L armond

    Do you think the Christians used animals for the four gospels to keep from Greek figures being used?  As well as to appeal to the more tribal avatars?

  • dirk in omaha

    is it that man is a microcosm or that man is the measure of all things?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

     Hildegard’s drawing looks like The World tarot card.

  • john

    Illustration reflects current theories of “anthropic principle” active in structure of the universe. Not necessarily theological explanations of “bio-friendly” nature of the cosmos. Also powerfully graphic… great “logo” for???

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       The anthropic principle is a game that cosmologists play, but it means nothing more than the idea that the universe supports our life, so the conditions that allow that had to have come from the beginning.

      • Anonymous

        I suppose that you will next claim that the purpose of noses is not to support eyeglasses.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           No, weak eyes exist to support optometrists.

          • Modavations

            most righteous

      • john

        more, I think than “a game” to its advocates. Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawing suggests a connection to universal principles integral in physics, geometry, biology and mathematics, pointing to the interconnectedness of all things.

  • L armond

    I think the apprentice was required to use a different color for the chemise sleeves, as well as a different ‘air’ in the background, to distinguish his from Leonardo’s, and to stay away from the more ruddy skin tones of Leonardo.  This would probably be required from his best students.  I am just guessing.
    And an apprentice might not have access, or been allowed to use the lapis lazuli.  

  • Joani davidson

    Missed first half hour. LOL @ man trying to have religion entering into Leonardo’s philosphy since he was NOT a believer, except in nature (N) AND he was gay. Wondering if that came out in the duscussions, as well as fact that his mother was Jewish?

    • Yar

      Is that why the middle finger in the 
      Vitruvian Man is so long? Does it represent hyper masculinity?  People see what they want to believe. 

      • Ellen Dibble

        I read that men’s fingers are closer to the same length than women’s.  A woman’s fingers are more different in length.  I forget where I heard that, but I’m pretty sure.

        • L armond

          By observation in figure class, perhaps?  Drawing hands and feet was as observant as the portrait of the face.  I observe all hands, especially musicians, keyboardists.  This portraiture of a persons hands is the highest art of love of what an individual ‘did’ with his or her hands.

          • Ellen Dibble

            I think it might be a forensic statistic.

        • Modavations

          One side of your body will be bigger then the other

      • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

        Nah- it’s an old Italian expression of insult / displeasure.
        It’s a wonder that prudish Americans haven’t blurred out this part of his anatomy, (as they do on TV) let alone the twig’n’berries.

  • L armond

    Proportion, and a respect for what one might be carrying, angles of light, etc., fenestration, all these would be a part of any respectful ‘establishment’.  Everyone built huts and caves, with small openings so a rock would cover the entry.  So an establishment would be where one could freely come and go and be seen to come and go.  It was not a fly by night hovel of temporary occupation.  All elements would be well thought out.  Naturally Leonardo would want to know all aspects of bodies swing,

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Say more, please.  What’s your point?

    • Anonymous

      What are you getting at hear? By the late 15th and 16th century people lived in houses, thank you very much.
      Huts and caves? This comment is nothing but gibberish.

      • Modavations

        I have to side with you my grinch.I’ve got no idea what he’s talking about

  • Ellen Dibble

    I believe the man who discovered calculus also maneuvered toward a seeking toward religious validation, truths that expand beyond cold, hard science.  Francis Bacon, I think it was, a few centuries later.  But if da Vinci wanted to see observation and science as having huge resonance, poaching on the religious, maybe early scientists thought the only real validity had to relate to the Church, and human centrality therein.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Calculus comes from Newton and Liebniz, even though its precursors lie all the way back in Greek mathematics.  Many mathematicians thought that they were delving into the mind of God, but that being isn’t the Christian version, despite the Church’s efforts to claim otherwise.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Newton, that’s who I was thinking of.  PBS had a piece, and after about age 24 he was going alchemical.

        • Modavations

          I went All chemical at age 16

          • Terry Tree Tree

            It SHOWS!!

          • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

             Lucky you!  I didn’t discover the “other”chemistry until I was in my twenties. O/w I might never have gotten thru college.

    • Modavations

      darwin was religious i’m told.You were impersonatated on the other story.I knew it wasn’t you

      • Anonymous

        He was until he evolved.

        • Modavations

          righteous,but that’s been a bumper sticker for 10 years

      • Yar

        It is interesting that you desire to point it out.Did you do the impersonation?  How many personalities do you present?  Dribble sounds very moda.

        • Modavations

          Ellen,you know me well.Do you think I was the impersonator?

          • Yar

            I am not Ellen.

          • Modavations

            Do you normally answer to Ellen.I repeat,Ellen you know me well,do you think I’d impersonate you.

          • Yar

            Why do you answer a question with a question?
            Which names on this blog have you used to identify your posts?

          • Modavations

            Never done it,never intend to

          • Yar

            Answer a question with a question?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            More evidence of Moda’s condition?

      • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

         Darwin was religious? Who told you this?
        Darwin mentions an old lady who suspected his father of “unorthodoxy”, and hoped to
        convert him:  “Doctor, I know that sugar is sweet in my mouth, and I
        know that my redeemer liveth.”
        Well.. you had to be there I guess.

    • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

       Discovered calculus? Which one? Leibniz or Newton?

  • Anonymous

    As a Secular Humanist, I take exception to the title of the segment. Leonardo’s work was exemplary for its time. He made great strides for those in his time who eventually adopted an openly secular, science-based Humanism. However, he could not have really foreseen the science that now guides modern Humanism.

    However, his work is human-centered in a way that secular science can only see now as narcissisticly human-species-centered. Humanism is not about making human beings the dominating center of the Universe. It is about seeing the inherent responsibility of human beings as the most dominant predator species on the planet to rise above instinctual physiology to become intentional and informed stewards of the planet for the sake of one another and all other species.

    To the religious and scientifically uninformed, Leonardo is some sort of mystical genius. To the psychologically educated, he may be seen as a bipolar genius with an exceptionally high IQ and amazing hand-eye coordination. In any case, he is not the Father of Modern Humanism by any stretch of the imagination. Nice pictures? Yes. Blueprints? No.

    • Ellen Dibble

      It is not enough to have Leonardo di Caprio and Tom Brady and Elizabeth Taylor.  We want to identify and celebrate icons from the 15th century too.  They can hardly defend themselves.  But certain personalities are grandiose, and nowadays might be famous in ways they couldn’t imagine.

      • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

        I don’t know much about the 15th Century, but they probably also had their own “Tom Bradys” and “Elizabeth Taylors” and other glitterati, that all the hoi-polloi gushed about and slavishly followed. Who were those “famous” people? Any on the tip of your tongue?
        Do you think our descendants 500 years from now will be remembering, writing about or even having talk-radio shows about stars like Tom Brady,  Paris Hilton and that Kardushian whatsername?
        No? Then who WILL they be discussing then?
        Suggestion: Make a list of today’s people that will be remembered in 500 years- these are the people you should perhaps know more about.

        • Anonymous

          Well in the 15th and 16th centuries there were no Tom Brady’s or Elizabeth Taylor’s. The had popes, and in the Italian city states they had families that were in power. Such as the Medici’ and before them the Borgias. There were famous writers and philosophers, but the majority of the population was illiterate and that includes some of the noblemen and women.

          • Modavations

            How patronizing.Like you were there.

          • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

            No Tom Brady’s what? Sticky-fingered receivers. Not much has changed.
            No Elizabeth Taylor’s what? Perfume?
            So what did the illiterate peasants talk about in their spare time? Popes? Indeed, what do they talk about nowadays? What do YOU talk about?
            In any event, thanx for illuminating me on relative illiteracy.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Humanism is about the justification for our action.  It asserts that we have the right to our thoughts and our deeds and choices, without seeking permission from some outside force.

  • Ann S. Harris

    A quick correction to the guest’s statement that Leonardo was “self-educated” and had little formal education.  This is wrong.  His father was a notary, thus literate in both Italian and Latin, and Leonardo’s handwriting proves tat he was taught the cursive script that notaries use.  His father would have wanted his son, though illegitimate, to be properly educated.  Leonardo obviously learnt both mathematics (use of the abacus was taught in the first school years) and Latin as well as Italian.  Once he had those skills, he would have needed connections to the manuscripts and eventually books he is known to have used from his own notebooks. They comprise a wide range of all the texts then available. His talents were spotted early and thus he had access to this knowledge that fascinated him so much that it impeded his completion of many paintings, especially  after 1500.
    [I am an art historian of that period though not a Leonardo specialist.]  Your guest has just said again that he was poorly educated – please pass this on to Tom Ashbrook.
        By the way, looking at the famous drawing the other day, I noted that the square is NOT a square but a rectangle.  If it was a square, then the man would have to have long ape-like arms . . . do ask both speakers what they think of this?  Have they ever noticed this?
      

    • Susan Blackman

      Thank you for the clarification. This troubled me, as well.

  • Yar

    Tom, your question about which you would want to hang in your living room shows much about interpretation of art. Your guest quickly decided which is worth the most, and chose it.  Like wine tasting, art is often more about bragging rights than appreciating beauty.  The best answer would be, I would be overjoyed to have the chance to view either.  Of course, I wouldn’t want any object in my home that many people are willing to use violence to steal.

  • Modavations

    I’ve seen both Mona Lisa’s.Highly overated.I stood in the room at the Lourve and had to ask a curator to point Mona Lisa out.Give me a good Cezanne any day

    • Terry Tree Tree

      This would surprise anyone that has read more than a few of your comments?

      • Modavations

        Is there a point,or is it the Stalking time of day?

        • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

           Hee hee!  Is this how pantywaist Artistes talk?  Love it!
          Oooo those big rough hissyfit fellows! My heart flutters at their manliness exposed on the screen!

      • Modavations

        Have you ever been to the Prado.Second rate museum in my opinion

        • Anonymous

          Really? They have all those Velasquez’ and Las Meninas is one of the greatest paintings in the history of Western art.

          The world is full of better paintings than the Mona Lisa. The Rubens’ room at the Lourve is one example of that.   

          • Modavations

            Do you just travel the world looking for fights.In my opinion the Prado is tier two.If you want to see my idea of paintings go to MOMA,go to Courtauld,go to The Met,Go to Brit.Museum and even our BMFA blows the Prado away.Madrd is a second tier city in my opinion.

          • Anonymous

             No, I just don’t bullies and fools. You seem to have the traits of both.

          • Modavations

            .I can guaranty you there were many Eliz Taylors,etc, in all ages.You have only one side of the bed.When was the glass ever half full for you?

          • Anonymous

            Oh boy, you don’t know much do you.

          • Modavations

            How do I reply to absurd immaturity

          • Modavations

            20.00 YOU’RE A PISSANT

          • Anonymous

            I rest my case.
            You’re a fool and a bully.

          • Modavations

            Am I supposedto answer that

          • Modavations

            Boring!!!!!!

          • Anonymous

            Velasquez is boring.
            Well that’s an interesting take on one of the greatest painters to ever have graced the planet. That’s not my opinion, it’s Picasso’, Cezanne’, and just about every painter who has a brain.

            You really do not know what you are talking about, opinion aside, you sound like you know about as much about art as you do history, none.

          • Modavations

            I personally have over 20 canvases.Send me your e-mail I’ll send you photos of my house and collection.Velasquez is a bore.Art started with Manet.Cezanne-Picasso are # 1,Bonnard and the fauves my favs.You been to Courtauld?Do you even know where it is

          • Anonymous

            Are you saying you own over 20 Cezanne paintings?

            I know where the Courtauld is but I’ve never been. As I said I’m not a fan of a lot of modernest painting. That you find Velasquez boring speaks more about your lack of knowledge in the plastic arts than anything else. 

            All the painters you mentioned loved him. Manet worshiped Velasquez. If you read anything about him you would know this. But you seem completly ignorant of this.

            The comments you have posted about painting show me that you’re a very uneducated person in regards to art.

            That you think Velasquez is boring says it all. 

            $20 is a lot of money to pay for an institution that is supposed to be open to the general public. I think all museums should be free or set up like the Met. You pay what you can afford.
             

          • Modavations

            Private collector of current art.Send e-mail address I have them all on file.I also have 15 tribal rugs.Floor Paintings.My father is a painter fool

          • Modavations

            i DID A COUNT WRONG SIDE.i HAVE OVER 40 CANVASES

    • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

       Both of Mona Lisa’s, huh? Well, you were supposed to be intrigued by her face, not figuratively peeling back layers of paint.

  • David Roffey

    I think perhaps if the copy of the Mona Lisa has not been cleaned it would appear darker and therefore more similar to the original. There is much contraversy over the cleaning of master painting, for example Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Ceiling.

  • Greta Fields

    DaVinci represented Aristotle’s idea of man having a soul.  Man is made in the image of God the prime mover in being an architect or creator.  As a creator, man has the power even to change himself, to improve himself by searching for the divine, which he finds inside himself and in his form. 
        He  used odd and even numbers, squares and circles, to represent motion and stasis.  If all forms in the universs were constructed of even numbers, there would be no life, no movement, in the universe:  Everything would be still and stable. But if there were no forms designed with  a stable, permanent, immortal form — the even number — there would be no soul either.  The soul, without movement, is eternal.  
      DaVinci is no mystery if you studyt Aristotle. l He was simpy representing man as having a soul in the body, a compound form made up the soul and body.  They are inseparable in Aristotle:L  The soul cannot exist except in some embodiment, some form.  [This is a scientific observation.]
      Since Aristotle was the basis of Catholic philosophy, DaVinci was working in the tradition of Catholic philosophy and theology.  He represented Aristotle in painting; Shakespeare in words, and Einstein in physics, and perhaps Darwin in science.
      I don’t consider DaVinci tht creative because it appears to me that he simply knew his Aristotle and found a way to re-present him in art.  Einstein re-presents Aristotle in the theory of relativity, which is contained in Aristotelian thought, for Aristotle says that matter can be either perceptible or imperceptible.  This is saying that we call a particle matter if we can see it, and energy if we can’t.  Since our eyes are calibrated to see with particles at the speed of light, we can’t see particles going faster than that.  Or can we?  Darkness may be particles faster than light.  Particles are in the process of being, becoming and not being, just as man is, just as everything is.  The particle “becdoming” is the atom splitting. 
       And then there was Shakespeare, showing Hamlet in the process of becoming a man with a soul.  Hamlet demonstrates Aristotle’s philosophy too — what it means to be or not to be…a MAN.  DaVinci and Shakespeare are analogous as artists plagiarziging their genius from Aristotle.  But since we no longer read Aristotle, we never recognize his glaring presence in the works of other people. Yet, during DaVinci’s time, Aristotle was THE basis for the curriculum, and THE Philosopher to go to for understranding of the divine mind.  So everybody read him then.   However, when Luther gained power, he banned Aristotle, whom he called “The Woman”. That’s because Aristotle  says that women have souls too.  We women have reason just as men.  omen are also ogicians and capable of being great politicians, according to Aristotle.
      THANKS Aristotle.  But Da Vinci should have drawn a woman in the circle in the squaare.  OHHHH:  No wonder Mona Lisa is grinning.,

    • Modavations

      The Greeks figured everything out.All we’ve done is perfect technologies.I consider Da Vinnci a genius,howver.Just my opinion

  • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

    Golden meanie comment deleted.

  • Rob ten Berge
  • Rob ten Berge
  • Laurie_of_TMFree

    In the copy on the right, the  model is leaning forward.  Note her elbow is overhanging the chair arm, the shoulder closer to us is pushed downward and the far shoulder is pushed upward, the breast closer to us is protruding more, and the face is actually tilted more towards the observer.  Her eyes appear to be looking more in our direction, while the original Mona Lisa is looking straight ahead.  To me, the copy also appears to have a supplicating look in her eye and mouth.  Not a happy lady.  The original seems serene, self-contained, satisfied.  Also, her skin is slightly yellower (golden).  In all, I see the copy as a real human being, while the original is an ideal, a metaphor, maybe Mother Nature/Mother Goddess, supreme and assured, at home in the world and master/mistress over it.

    Anyone else see anything like this? 

  • Ed

    The Catholic Church acknoweldges nature. His view is similar to the current view: physical science has its appropriate realm of study. The theological thought of the late middle ages is one of the great accomplishments in history.

    • Anonymous

      So do you mean that we should go back to the middle ages. I guess you would like that, all those inquisitions.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Torture people, to keep them faithful to the church, and IGNORE the children being abused and neglected?

        • Modavations

          Bleat # 3

  • Rob ten Berge
  • Rob ten Berge
  • Modavations

    There are many replicas of Mona Lisa.She was a commission of a silk merchants wife.Who knows,all these artists were forever painting and hangin with hookers.I saw the one in the Prado 20 years ago.It was dark and ugly and they rotated it.Half the time it was in the basement.I asked a curator at the BMFArts where the Jade Tree was(a 4 foot tall tree done in Jade Tourmaline,etc,.).The curator said it’s in the basement and that only 20% of the collection is on display at any time.

  • Dmiller539

     the original is obviously da vincis the copy is less luminous

  • Trendsdistribution

    He was not blind to the future but it was like a visionary exactly like Steve Jobs.

    • alex

      Da Vinci doesn’t have anything to do with Jobs. Don’t even try to compare the greatest artists/inventor/engineer to a mediocre, insecure marketer.

  • Trendsdistriibution

    Leonardo was sleeping only 3 to 4 hours a day. A lot of similarity with Jules Vernes. Both of them were focus on the future.

    • http://menwholooklikedoncherry.com/ Claude Balloune

       Please- no one bring in the DC-electrifying Elephant-frying Thomas Edison here!

  • Ed

    Perhaps the picture became so famous because it contrasted so starkly with our current idea that the human form is an accident. It argues against this Darwinian idea, for sure.

    • Anonymous

      No it does not. It’s a canon on the beauty of the human form. Da Vinci also did many drawings on nature and was constantly trying to figure out what the world was and how it was put together. I think he would have most likely been fascinated by Darwin’
      ideas and theories. 

      What is really interesting is how his drawing of how a human heart pumps blood, which was done from him using what is now considered a scientific method, is almost an exact model of how our modern artificial heart works. Da Vinci was a brilliant man how had nothing but contempt for the kind of ideology you seem to be trying to hijack his drawing for.

  • Rickyfernandez

    lame

  • Mario Miranda

    There are several renderings of the Vitruvian man by Renaissance artists. One scholar went recently as far as to say that Leonardo copied the drawing from an architect friend; this doesn’t make any sense because Vitruvius’ “De Divina Proportione” was a well-known work in Leonardo’s time, and many people interpreted it. Yet Leonardo’s rendering is the most beautiful and awe-inspiring.

  • Danonnelllorr

    Grandpa Longines Arm Watches

    My grandfather was the quiet type. He would not ever raise his voice unless
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    wife were maintained impecably. These, he knew, were fine replica omega watches uk from luxury
    famous brands. My grandfather appears to be quiet and quirky but he knew when
    something had value. When he experienced his collection you could potentially
    tell he loved it. He had recount where everyone of his watches came from. He’d
    recount the occasions, who anyone giving the gift was, and why each became “one
    of [his] favorites.”

    Going checking to determine which of his beloved watch however wear to
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    What about an Ebel anticipate Aunt Geri and Uncle Jerry wedding? In my little
    birthday a year, I might were turning eleven, he displayed numerous Longines
    mens replica watches uk from his collection on his work bench. He lifted me over the neatly
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    and told me to settle on one. I briefly protested but he wasn’t attending take
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    it wasn a race and that I ought to think about what design I liked just about
    the most.

    With a small consideration together with a fear that he would somehow be
    disappointed by my choice I examined watches. I noticed one I have admired when
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    seemed proud and happy. We left for the zoo tomorrow and from tomorrow on I’m
    rarely seen without that Longines mens watch.

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