Monday, September 17, 2018

First Paragraph

Around the time that he reached the unnerving milestone of turning thirty, Leonardo da Vinci wrote a letter to the ruler of Milan listing the reasons he should be given a job. He had been moderately successful as a painter in Florence, but he had trouble finishing his commissions and was searching for new horizons. In the first ten paragraphs, he touted his engineering skills, including his ability to design bridges, waterways, cannons, armored vehicles, and public buildings. Only in the eleventh paragraph, at the end, did he add that he was also an artist. "Likewise in painting, I can do everything possible," he wrote.

- From Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson


Texas Leigh said...

Also from Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson: "He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, delineated the muscles that move the lips, and painted the world’s most memorable smile." Da Vinci is my hero and Isaacson's book was wonderful (on beautiful paper with superb images and reproductions of da Vinci's notebook pages and paintings).

Michael Wade said...

Texas Leigh,

I recently got the book and you're right: it is beautiful.

Da Vinci is a great hero to have.