It's humbling to know that Leonardo da Vinci, visionary artist and brilliant mind that he was, still needed to take notes. (It is perhaps less humbling to realize these works are, in themselves, works of art.) The British Library in London has recently revealed a fully digitized collection of da Vinci's musings, experiments and notes, resulting in almost 570 weird and wonderful images by the master artist.
After his death, da Vinci's journals were given to pupil Francesco Melzi, and then sold to wealthy collectors and donated to museum collections worldwide. From a series of inscriptions contained in one notebook, it is probable that the journal arrived in Britain thanks to the 17th century Earl of Arundel, an avid art lover.
The notebooks contain a beautiful jumble of art, astronomy, mathematics, philosophy and engineering. As the Jonathan Jones writes in the Guardian: "This is a great work of art, in a precociously conceptual genre that has been emulated by modern artists such as Joseph Beuys and Cy Twombly." According to the Guardian, the books also inform us of the famous inventor's predilection for pink tights.
Thanks to the notebooks' new digital life, you'll be able to view the pages in color, and "see the finer details using the deep zoom facility," writes British Library curator Julian Harrison on the institution's website. We'd like to add, these "special effects" are nothing compared to the action-packed TV spectacle that is "Da Vinci's Demons," the bizarre new "The Da Vinci Code"-meets- "Game of Thrones" mashup debuting April 12 on Starz.
MORE ARTS NEWS:
Airport Museum Features Rodin Sculptures: Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport offers a chance to see Auguste Rodin's work while waiting for your zone to board. One lucky traveler exclaimed, "I couldn’t even believe it." (The New York Times)
Was All The Hullabaloo Over School's Jesus Painting A Big Waste Of Time?: An Ohio public school recently battled to keep a painting of Jesus in its halls after a student filed a lawsuit. Resident Fred Wallin said in defense of the school board, "I’m tired of a minority asserting demands." However, another resident had this to say about the painting: "Do folks in Jackson County think Jesus stopped by the local Olan Mills studio and had his photo taken? How ridiculous to think an image conjured up by an artist a few decades ago should be treated as sacred." (The Columbus Dispatch's original article, the Dispatch's letter to the editor)
Bacon, Richter and Basquiat Rock Sotheby's: We're talking $117 million here, people. (Bloomberg)
Syrian Artists Get More Attention From Global Galleries: "The artists themselves may feel conflicted about the opportunities that war has brought them, but for [Khaled] Samawi, it is a recognition long overdue." (TIME)