Humanities essay over D.M. Field's Leonardo Di Vinnci 2002

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Leonardo Da Vinci patrons might find his failures to complete a commission exasperating, just as we may share their regrets at the perfectionism which made it difficult for him to bring a work of art to a successful conclusion, but contemporaries generally had no doubts about the genius of Leonardo da Vinci.


Leonardo's name was actually Leonardo di Ser Piero da Vinci, though he was known throughout his life as Leonardo or Leonardo Ser Piero. 'Da Vinci' is simply a reference to the Tuscan village in which he was born. Referring to him as 'Da Vinci' is a little like referring to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery of Alamein as 'Of Alamein'or Joan of Arc as 'Of Arc'. It is strange that Brown calls him 'Da Vinci' consistently, despite the fact he apparently studied art in Seville and his wife is supposedly an art historian.
The life and work of Leonardo, the archetypical 'Renaissance Man' for whom no branch of knowledge was allowed to remain a closed book, has proved endlessly fascinating to later generations. At one time he was known only as a painter, although many of his works by other hands were unknown and a number of inferior works by other hands were wrongly attributed to him. The full, amazing extent of his genius emerged only in quite recent times with the rediscovery of his notebooks and drawings. For a time, even Leonardo the painter seemed to be submerged by the weight of his new reputation as a scientist. Some readjustment has taken place since then. ...
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