12 Dec Leonardo da Vinci
15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519
Where does one begin to describe Leonardi da Vinci? The inscrutable smile of Mona Lisa and his early designs for helicopters, drawings of anatomy, proposals for tanks and anatomical drawings make him one of the ‘greats’ in history. I nearly forgot the invention of the parachute. I wonder who got to test that plan out?
He’s being included in this list because he did everything and because his works has never ceased to have relevance. The photo used to head this piece shows his draftsmanship and consummate skill which remain unrivaled today.
There’s lots of speculation about his, ahem, private life but however scandalous this might have seemed at the time, and for many subsequent years, it has had no impact or bearing on his genius. I only hope that as the world seems to descend into an era of new puritanism we remain focused on people’s individual qualities and abilities rather than society’s idea of conformity.