Leonardo da Vinci, the great Italian painter, engineer, inventor, and scientist was born 570 years ago, on 15 April 1452. He embodied in many ways the High Renaissance, one of the most progressive periods in history, of which Engels said, "it was the greatest progressive revolution that humanity has so far experienced, a time which called for giants and produced giants—giants in power of thought, passion, and character, in universality and learning."
To commemorate the half millennium since his death, in 2019, Culture Matters published an article looking at aspects of Leonardo's work, focusing on his painting and the Mona Lisa in particular, and how Leonardo's universality fed into this most famous of all images in art. In Leonardo's honour, in celebration of his achievement and legacy, we republish this article today. Ben Jonson's tribute to Shakespeare applies equally to Leonardo: "He was not of an age but for all time!"
Read the article here.
Jenny Farrell is a lecturer, writer and an Associate Editor of Culture Matters.