May 30, 2023

Leonardo Da Vinci (Endnotes)


Da Vinci Endnotes

  • Salai
  • Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno
  • Pretty. Charming. Dishonest. Thieving. Manipulative. 
  • Da Vinci “Thief, liar, obstinate, greedy,”
  • Salai. I want peace. Not war. No more wars I give in.
  • Francesco Melzi
  • Reliable. Good but not great artist. Well liked. Organized. Responsible.
  • Petty competition with Michelangelo
  • Tries to get the David moved to a more discreet location rather than in front of the Palazzo Vecchio
  • The dude for sure had Aspbergers
  • His nose was crooked from when he had insulted another artist
  • Ninja Turtles
  • Da Vinci was blond. I just found that interesting since I don’t know a lot of blond Italians. I actually know more red head Italians. But that’s just me.
  • Rivers branching and  -> trees branches
  • Da Vinci: “All the branches of a tree at every stage of its height when put together are equal and thickness to the trunk below them all the branches of a river at every stage of its course if they are of equal rapidity are equal to the body of the main stream.
  • Isaacson: “This conclusion is still known as da Vinci's rule and has proven true in situations where the branches are not very large. The sum of the cross-sectional area of all branches above a branching point is equal to the cross-sectional area of the trunk or the branch immediately below the branching point.”
  • Birds
  • Claims that “It seems that it had been destined before that I should occupy myself so thoroughly with the vulture, for it comes to my mind as a very early memory, when I was still in the cradle, a vulture came down to me, he opened my mouth with his tail and struck me a few times with his tail against my lips.”
  • The Virgin and Child with St. Anne
  • Does this represent two mothers?
  • Conspiracy theories about Mona Lisa
  • Leonardo was in love with her
  • Self portrait as a woman
  • It’s actually Salai (slightly more convincing)
  • Giuliano de Medici - Advocated on Del Gioconodo’s behalf? Perhaps was having an affair with Lisa?
  • Other copies of Mona Lisa
  • He might have done it as a favor in order to get the Battle of Anghiari commission
  • Vegetarianism and my flirtation with the milk diet
  • The population of Florence was 40,000 or 50,000 - that’s about half of where I live now, Orem Utah.
  • And yet you had Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, 
  • Lorenzo d’ Medici, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Amerigo Vespucci
  • They were all home grown! That is what separates it from Silicon Valley, to me.
  • Mechanistic view of the world. Tweet that pointed out that we always use the latest technology to explain the world.
  • “All movements in the universe of human limbs and of cogs, and machines of blood in our veins and of water and rivers operate according to the same laws”
  • “Man is a machine, a bird is a machine, and the whole universe is a machine.”
  • Now people say that we are a simulation.
  • But these technologies do tell us things and it’s not a bad way to analogize the world.
  • What is the golden ration: 1.6 1 8 0 3 3 9 8
  • For example, take a line that that's 100 inches long and divide it into two parts of 61.8 inches and 38.2 inches. That comes close to the golden ratio because 100 divided by 61.8. Is the same as 61.8 divided by 38.2. In both cases, it's approximately 1.618
  • Work together rather than alone
  • Salvator Mundi
  • “Those free-wheeling spendthrift Arab oil princes are at it again. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars for a fake Da Vinci.”
  • Well it turns out that - though there are certainly arguments on both sides, I think the bulk of evidence does indeed support it being the real deal. Da Vinci probably did it.
  • French vs the Italians
  • In 1911 the Mona Lisa was stolen and taken to Italy so that it could come home where it belongs.
  • Well, in 1913 the guy is caught and the Mona Lisa was returned, somewhat reluctantly, I think, based on the fact that the guy spent less than a year in jail.
  • There is good competition between France and Italy for who has the best taste. The best art, the best architecture, they are two of the treasures of Europe. Spain, Germany, the Low countries, and England also have great artistic contributions but I think France and Italy are probably the leaders in terms of European art and culture.
  • And so of course there is some debate over who gets to claim Da Vinci. Because he was Italian, but the truth is, he was much more appreciated by the French who immediately embraced and loved him.
  • Maybe that’s a little unfair to the Italians who did commission him, acknowledge him as a genius, the vast majority of his life was spent in either Florence, Milan, and Rome. and Milan may have been under French control for large portions of that but it was still an Italian city.
  • The French wanted to be cultural players, didn’t have their own homegrown geniuses, and saw a chance to peel of Da Vinci because people were frustrated with him because of his failures to complete commissions.
  • Even so, they did it. They funded him, they snatched up his works as soon as they could which is why so many reside in France today, and they deserve a lot of credit for this exceptional discernment of great art.
  • Machiavelli signs a contract for Da Vinci in May 1504 after they have left Borgia’s service. So the two were like legit homies. Which I love. I just get the biggest kick out of it. 
  • Pageantry is something he did throughout his entire life that is lost to time because of its ephemeral nature. But he was apparently very good at it and this was a big deal and a huge part of what he actually did and why people wanted him. In terms of volume of output of what he actually put out there it probably far out-stripped the paintings.
  • Masque of the planets made him more famous than his paintings did in Milan.
  • The last thing he writes is “I have to stop writing now because the soup is getting cold.” He had to stop. Light eaters. 
  • Imagined an ideal city just like Walt Disney and Brigham Young and Alexander the Great.
  • DId this twice. In Milan to combat the plague and later for the king of France. In a more rational age, people were thinking about how they could reform these organic things that had grown up without planning.
  • He would sometimes buy birds just to set them free
  • A friend wrote “he would not kill a flea for any reason whatsoever. He preferred to dress in linen so as not to wear something dead.”

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Endnotes regarding Da Vinci

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