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Top Chef, Old Master

"If there is an assassination planned for the meal, then it is seemliest that the assassin should be seated next to he who is to become the subject of his craft" - Leonardo da Vinci: head of the kitchen, designer of horse-pulled nut-crushers, inventor of napkins, and assassination etiquette expert.
posted by The Whelk on Jan 7, 2014 - 20 comments

 

Isleworth Mona Lisa: a younger, happier version, or a decent knockoff?

There has long been various lines of speculation about Mona Lisa, including the existence of an earlier version of the painting. A painting purported to be the earlier version was revealed in 2012. The accuracy of the statements are supported by The Mona Lisa Foundation, who have set up an extensive website around the history of the Mona Lisa and other versions, and also prepared a 21 minute documentary with various professionals providing their knowledge on the topic. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 8, 2013 - 24 comments

The Sound Da Vinci Invented, but Never Heard

Leonardo Da Vinci is well known as a man who invented many things on paper that never found their way into three-dimensional reality. Some would later prove to be unworkable in reality. Others would later prove to be potentially life-saving. But not all of Da Vinci's inventions were of a practical nature. Consider his plans for the viola organista, a keyboard instrument containing a system of revolving wheels, strings and other machinery to create a kind of cello that can be played with a keyboard. Never constructed in Da Vinci's lifetime, the inventor himself could only imagine what it would actually sound like. We no longer have to imagine that. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Nov 18, 2013 - 43 comments

He's going to be straightironed, of course

No, if we thought there might perhaps, just maybe, be even a little safe psuedo-subversion of the straightironing with a secondary character, if we thought there might be some hints of homosexual dalliance on the side, or at least a little homoerotic tension to be shipped or slashed with a flighty sprite, a Renaissance Robin to his Batman, that avenue is closed off pretty quickly. NO! shouts the Slash Nazi. NO SLASH FOR YOU! NO SLASH FOR YOU! -- Hal Duncan is not impressed by the way Leonardo Da Vinci's sexuality is handled in the new Starz/BBC Da Vinci's Demons television series and is impressively rude in saying so. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on May 7, 2013 - 19 comments

Large Hadron Collider, da Vinci style

Drawings of the elements of CMS detector, in the style of Leonardo da Vinci "Sergio Cittolin is first and foremost a physicist in search of answers to the mysteries of the universe. Yet he also has an artistic bent, and his talent for drawing has woven itself nicely into his 30 years of work at CERN. The result is a collection of Leonardo da Vinci-style illustrations that brighten CERN hallways, a book, and the covers of a number of technical documents." (via)
posted by dhruva on May 23, 2012 - 10 comments

A restored apprentice's copy reveals what what the Mona Lisa looked like back in the 16th century

The Prado Museum in Madrid has what they had considered to be an inferior late-era replica of the Mona Lisa, a portrait surrounded by black. But when conservators compared infrared images of their copy with images taken in 2004 from the Leonardo's masterpiece, they found that the Prado replica closely resembled early under-drawings covered by the Mona Lisa everyone sees. Yesterday, Prado held a news conference to announce that their restoration efforts are nearly done and displayed the work in progress. The comparison is striking, showing details that might have been visible when the Mona Lisa was fresh, 500 years ago. The Guardian has more details and a high-detail portion of the apprentice's painting, believed to be by Francesco Melzi. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 2, 2012 - 21 comments

Encarta Resurrected

"We are weak, writing is difficult, but for my own sake I do not regret this journey..." -from the final three Diaries Of Robert Falcon Scott (p. 166/167) which are now available scanned, transcribed, and narrated in fully searchable form by the British Library. [more inside]
posted by lemuring on Jan 30, 2012 - 19 comments

Find the enemy, attack him, invade his land, raise hell while you’re at it.

Historically famous men and their use of pocket notebooks (spread over two pages).
posted by gman on Sep 13, 2010 - 31 comments

I can fling small stones almost resembling a storm

"I have kinds of mortars; most convenient and easy to carry; and with these I can fling small stones almost resembling a storm; and with the smoke of these cause great terror to the enemy, to his great detriment and confusion. [...] I have means by secret and tortuous mines and ways, made without noise, to reach a designated spot, even if it were needed to pass under a trench or a river. I will make covered chariots, safe and unattackable, which, entering among the enemy with their artillery, there is no body of men so great but they would break them. And behind these, infantry could follow quite unhurt and without any hindrance."
Leonardo da Vinci's cocky, violent resume
posted by not_the_water on May 18, 2010 - 27 comments

Elle est partie!

“But I decided on the Mona Lisa, which was the smallest painting and the easiest to transport.” “So there was no chance,” asked the court, “that you decided on it because it was the most valuable painting?” - From Vanity Fair, the twisting, engaging story of how the Mona Lisa was stolen in broad daylight in 1911. (via)
posted by The Whelk on Apr 8, 2010 - 13 comments

Make a Monster

Make A Monster! Just one of many activities over at Universal Leonardo (previously).
posted by BuddhaInABucket on Oct 6, 2009 - 3 comments

Looking for Leonardo

Are figures in a Florentine altar panel attributed to Italian artist Andrea del Verrocchio actually by Leonardo da Vinci? "The Baptistery figures, if accepted as Leonardo's, would be the only extant sculptures made in the artist's lifetime..." Related ARTNews article, additional Smithsonian Magazine article, National Gallery of Art writeup related to the additional Smithsonian Magazine article, and the High Museum's upcoming Leonardo exhibit.
posted by cog_nate on Sep 28, 2009 - 21 comments

Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus

Leonardo3, a design team in Milan, was given unprecedented access to the Codex Atlanticus [PDF], Leonardo da Vinci's closely guarded notebooks, in which he designed hundreds of machines he had hoped to build. The team transformed more than 100 drawings into 3-D graphic representations of his inventions. From these they built working models which are now displayed for the first time in the U.S., at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.
posted by ericb on May 8, 2006 - 29 comments

Early Celebrity.

Famous for Being Famous - is an article on the artist, Giotto, argued to be among the first "celebrities." Giotto studied with the painter Cimabue and is said to have been an early influence on Leonardo da Vinci. Although not currently as well-known as Michaelangelo, for instance, Giotto's fame in his day was great, as evidenced by writings by Dante and Boccaccio.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Dec 5, 2004 - 5 comments

Final Frontier, the space between our ears.

A viilage to reinvent the world : Gaviotas "In 1965 Paulo Lugari was flying over the impoverished Llanos Orientales, the “eastern plains” that border Venezuela. The soil of the Llanos is tough and acidic, some of the worst in Colombia. Lugari mused that if people could live here they could live anywhere.....The following year Lugari and a group of scientists, artists, agronomists and engineers took the 15-hour journey along a tortuous route from Bogota to the Llanos Orientales to settle."

"...they would need to be very resourceful. So they invented wind turbines that convert mild breezes into energy, super-efficient pumps that tap previously inaccessible sources of water [powered by a child's playground seesaw!], and solar kettles that sterilize drinking water using the furious heat of the tropical sun....They even invented a rain forest!" (from "Gaviotas - A village to reinvent the World", by Tim Weisman) Amidst the strife of war torn Columbia, Gaviotas persists and even flourishes. " "When we import solutions from the US or Europe," said Lugari, founder of Gaviotas, "we also import their problems."....Over the years Gaviotas technicians have installed thousands of the windmills across Colombia....Since Gaviotas refuses to patent inventions, preferring to share them freely, the design has been copied from Central America to Chile."

Gaviotas is real, yes, but it is also a state of mind - as if Ben Franklin, Frank Lloyd Wright, Leonardo Da Vinci - all of the great those giants who reinvisioned the possible - were reincarnated : as a small Columbian village on a once-desolate plain. "Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez has called Paolo Lugari the "inventor of the world." "
posted by troutfishing on Apr 16, 2004 - 12 comments

Master Draughtsman

The Met Museum has an online gallery exploring the work of Da Vinci. It allows you to zoom in and out on specific parts of a work thus enabling minute exploration. It's stuff like this that makes the web indispensable.
posted by Fat Buddha on Jan 30, 2003 - 6 comments

Ever hear about the time Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire were taken in by the police under suspicion of stealing the Mona Lisa?
posted by interrobang on Aug 16, 2002 - 3 comments

Weirdo Leonardo

Weirdo Leonardo "This web site is about the stranger artworks and writings of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and includes ideas and images that may disturb." Michelangelo is reported to have said of Leonardo that "He cannot create, only imagine." If so, what an imagination! The grotesque and anatomical figures. The magnificent machines.
posted by vacapinta on May 16, 2002 - 12 comments

Leonardo's Bridge

Leonardo's Bridge became a reality, with the construction of the 100 meter bridge spanning the E-18 in the township of Ås, east of Oslo. The design of the bridge makes modern bridges seem old in comparison. It seems that many of DaVinci's 500 year old ideas are coming to fruition.
posted by dancu on Nov 1, 2001 - 10 comments

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