An ode to the Renaissance Man

Updated: May 25, 2019, 08:01 IST | Snigdha Hassan

In the month of Leonardo da Vinci's 500th death anniversary, a talk will highlight the philosophy that ties together his work as an artist, architect, inventor and scientist

An ode to the Renaissance Man

The relatively faint murmur of the thousands of tourists who visit the Louvre in Paris every day rises to a crescendo when they enter the gallery that houses what is arguably the most famous painting ever made. At first, its small dimensions when compared to the grand narrative take you by surprise. But a few steps closer and the mysterious smile of the Mona Lisa disarms you from behind the strongest of bullet-proof glasses. Many have called the enigmatic beauty of the painting a microcosm of the enigma of its creator itself. For, five centuries after Leonardo da Vinci died, the artist, sculptor, scientist, inventor and naturalist continues to intrigue writers, researchers and the world of pop culture.

In the month of his 500th death anniversary — da Vinci died on May 2, 1519 — New Acropolis Mumbai, an international organisation of philosophy and culture founded in 1957 in Buenos Aires, is organising a talk on him that aims to tie together the many facets of the polymath’s personality and shed light on how lessons from da Vinci, who celebrated the beauty of nature and man, can inform us even today.


"We will highlight his incredible work as an artist, architect, inventor and scientist. This is with a view to understand the root of the enigmatic genius of Leonardo da Vinci, referred to as a Renaissance Man, a model of the Renaissance movement," says Rahil Mehta, volunteer, New Acropolis Cultural Organisation.

To further elaborate his point, Mehta cites the example of da Vinci’s iconic drawing, The Vitruvian Man, which brings out the correlations of ideal human body proportions with geometry. The Fibonacci sequence and Golden Ratio expressed amply in nature — from the wings of the dragonfly and petals of the sunflower to the spiral shape of a shell — depicted the proportions of the human figure in the famous artwork. Mehta adds, "The curiosity and imagination of da Vinci drove him to design machines, which could not even be constructed in his times, while his artworks seem to carry much more meaning than just the artistic finesse in their creation."

ON Today, 6 pm to 8 pm
AT New Acropolis Colaba Center A-0, Connaught Mansions, Colaba.

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