I chose Leonardo today. A genius.
A well rounded artist.
A thinking, artist.
But so much more.
All the things I aspire to be. To become. He is a good role model.
I don’t want to copy him, but to emulate his outlook. His creative, approach. That is enough.
Leonardo and his Mona Lisa, his Last Supper, his Sistine Chapel… such glorious works of art.
Even so, with all that ‘artsy stuff’ he had going on, Leonardo also thought about other concerns. His art did not solely revolve around pretty shapes, tones and forms, wondrous paint colors, lush curves and delightful wine lunches with art friends.
The times he lived in were…. rough.
People lived on the edge. They weren’t relaxed, not on the whole.
The surface you saw, skimmed over, might look smooth.
But below, churned the worries and stresses of looming disasters.
No one was safe. Everyone had to agree, had to toe the line and speak a certain way.
One misconstrued word could brand you heretic, sending you to the Tower, to the pyre, or into exile if you were lucky.
Yes…. walking to a sick friend’s home to lend a hand, on a Sabbath was punishable.
Hanging some wet washing out on the laundry line on Sabbath- was punished.
If you had some money, you were fined.
No? the stocks, the lash, would do.
If the authorities were being charitable they would only make you wear a placard upon your body around town, stating what a ‘damned’ thief, harlot, heretic, unrepentant soul you were.
Interesting times. Indeed.
Weirdly, Wonderfully Out of the Box
Can you then, just imagine the level of Leonardo’s inner courage to be himself.
To plunge ahead and write, paint, speak out the way he did?
The risks he took.
When The World supposedly WAS FLAT! oh my.
I thought I was fairly bold, confident, a bit quirky in my art creations.
I am not that brave, that outspoken, that weirdly wonderfully out of the box. Not at all.
Art takes courage.
Creativity and self expression demands courage.
I found these quotes of his insightful.
A window into the mind and soul of one of the greatest artists that the world has given us.
“Nothing strengthens authority
so much as
If anyone would know the truth of that, it would be Leonardo.
Living in precarious times, with the rulers warm and well fed, perched high upon their shaky golden thrones.
Right upon the precipice. Just waiting… for a strong gust to come storming along.
And those rulers, they hoped,
that by instilling Silence, it would keep the gust from blowing. One more day.
How, could it be even be possible, that he imagined with such clarity and depth of feeling – something, that we, only in this century, have experienced?
It seems so strange, his out of time, inventions and thoughts, ideas, doesn’t it?
He lived 1452 – 1519.
“Once you have tasted flight,
you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been
and there you will always
long to return.”