Taking a short break from Leonardo, our guest today is Julia Charity, an official Vatican tour guide! Julia, who originally hails from the UK, tells us how she ended up as a Vatican tour guide and about some of her favourite art on display in the Pope’s fortress, including “The Last Judgment” by Michelangelo, the “Transfiguration” by her “Renaissance husband”, Raphael, and the Borgia Apartments.
Despite sucking at maths, Leonardo eventually realised mathematics was the language of nature. Luckily, he became close friends with the mathematician Luca Pacioli. When Pacioli wrote a book on the golden ratio, or divine proportion, his friend Leonardo did the art – lots of lovely 3D Platonic solids.
Leonardo loved machines, partly because he was fascinated with motion and energy. Other Renaissance artists drew machines, but only Leonardo drew them part by part to demonstrate the analysis of motion. Some of his machines were so innovative they could have made him extremely wealthy, but he was the laziest, most selfish genius of all time.
For about 20 years, LDV was obsessed with the idea of designing machines that would allow humans to fly. He studied birds and dragonflies, drew hundreds of drawings, and wrote tens of thousands of words on the subject. Was it because he wanted to be the world’s first superhero?