Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Wisdom of Da Vinci

On this date in 1519, the world lost a genius, Leonardo Da Vinci. Whenever I read his quotes, I'm in awe of his wisdom ~ yet it doesn't come as a surprise, coming from an artist of his magnitude.

Here's a few of my favorites:

"Art is never finished, only abandoned." (This reminds me of a Hemingway quote I once read, of which I'm paraphrasing: "Writing is never done; it's just due.")

"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

"Although nature commences with reason and ends in experience it is necessary for us to do the opposite, that is to commence with experience and from this to proceed to investigate the reason."

Think you know a lot about Leonardo? Check out this fun trivia quiz.

Did you know that Leonardo was an inveterate procrastinator? The Last Supper was only completed after his patrons threatened to cut off his funds; Mona Lisa took 20 years to complete! By the way, the Writing Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers excellent advice in assisting writers who suffer with procrastination.

Visit for vital info and a video on the life of the gifted painter of The Last Supper and Mona Lisa. An article by Jeanna Bryner on LiveScience reveals 25 Secrets of Mona Lisa.

It's in Italian, but there's a Twitter account devoted to the Vinci, Italy museum @museoleonardo.

My daughter, Miranda, had the privilege of viewing the Mona Lisa when she visited the Lourve last summer during her 21-day tour of Greece, Italy, and France with the People to People Ambassador Program. (On Twitter: @PeopleToPeople). She was deeply moved by the experience. I dream about visiting France and Italy someday.

As a part of the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen, from now through June 10, 2012, visitors to Bristol can view an exhibition of ten Da Vinci drawings.  In addition, Da Vinci-themed workshops, family events, lectures, guided tours, and more are being offered.

I will make it to Bristol one day ~ my grandfather was born in London in 1911, and his maternal ancestors (his mother, Beatrice Needham, was born in Fishponds), lived in Bristol for hundreds of years. I've done extensive genealogy research, and have even found relatives online -- and I can't wait to visit.

How about you? A favorite Leonardo Da Vinci quote? Have you experienced the viewing of either Mona Lisa or The Last Supper?


  1. Really enjoyed this post! Madeline

  2. Thank you kindly, Madeline! I hope life's been treating you well lately! I just returned from a 4-day Robert McKee Story Seminar in NYC ~ it was outstanding :-)

  3. Art is never finished, only abandoned! hum, that's interesting. I guess that's true in a way of writing as well.

  4. I believe it, too, Charles ~ it must be the perfectionists in us ~ it would never be complete, we'd keep working on it! That's why Hemingway's idea of writing never being done, just "due" is so accurate!