Menu

Events | Leonardo: The Legend

  • Title: ‘Leonardo: The Legend’
  • Location: The Wilson Art Gallery & Museum, Clarence St, Cheltenham GL50 3JT
  • Date: 23.09.19 | 11:00am
  • Book Now: Please email Sue Pearce: sue.pearce@blueyonder.co.uk
da_vinci_vitruve_luc_viatour

May 2nd 2019 marked the quincentenary of the death of the consummate Renaissance man, Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (1452-1519). Whilst this provides great scope to reflect on the prolific career of one of the most prodigious and multifarious talents of all time, it also heralds the unveiling of The Leonardo Project, 2014 to 2019. Scientist, inventor, engineer, architect, mathematician, artist and musician, Leonardo was the epitome of the Renaissance polymath. As per the legend, Leonardo devised pioneering prototypes for flying machines using the wing-structure of birds, at a time when he also developed designs for caterpillar tracks for tanks and paradigms for the parachute and helicopter respectively. As a giant of the High Renaissance, Leonardo, in fact, only completed approximately fifteen paintings. Furthermore, few of his designs were published in his lifetime and many remain inchoate, yet leaving a legacy far from untouched: most recently American aeronautic engineers replicated Leonardo’s blueprint for the parachute, thankfully enjoying a pleasant flight! Synonymous with dissection and visionary scientific invention himself, perhaps the most fascinating development has been the attempt to posthumously extrapolate DNA from Leonardo’s remains in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert at the Château d’Amboise in the Loire Valley, France, in order to develop his genetic profile. The intention being; to make his clone. Dolly the Sheep was one thing, but a living Leonardo would surely be quite another!

Come along and provide your perspective on the most celebrated genius beyond Albert Einstein, and assess how more contemporary genii such as Steve Jobs and James Dyson stack-up against the percipient polymath of the cinquecento.

The talk will be given by Nick Nelson, Head of History of Art at Cheltenham College and Director of Arcadia Education for Art History.