“Leonardo was the Son of God. I'm surprised I have to point this out."
– Tom Marioni, Sketch Book Notes, 1999, Writings on Art, 1969-1999
Leonardo, originally from the small town of Vinci in northern Italy, died five hundred years ago. I didn't know this when I picked up the book "Leonardo Da Vinci" by Walter Isaacson at a local bookstore. I was looking for a book that would provide some light summer reading and to get a break from my normal fare. Up to this point I had managed to avoid it without much effort despite the obligatory incessant promotional interviews of Isaacson. I groaned listening to Isaacson's worshipful descriptions with his explanations of "creativity." Oh, brother. Eye rolls were shared by several artist friends.
...a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it.” —The New Yorker
He was history’s most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us?
Despite Leonardo's fame and copious notes, there are many historical gaps, and where they appear, Isaacson has no trouble filling in the voids however historically vacuous they may be. In other words, if you don't know, just make it up, thus feeding the historical fiction beast.