The Islamic Golden Age lasted between the 8th to the mid-13th centuries. As the Muslims pushed further to the east, they crashed into the Chinese Tang dynasty. The apocryphal story is that at the Battle of Talas in 751, the Muslims discovered the Chinese secret of making paper. That changed everything.
in 1492, the Christians completed “The Reconquista” – the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula (eg Spain), taking it back from the Muslims. This process lead to the transfer of classical ideas, preserved and expanded upon by the Muslims during the “Islamic Golden Age”, into Western Europe. But how and why did the Muslims have their Golden Age? How did they end up controlling Spain in the first place? That’s the focus for our next mini-series.
King Francis offers Leonardo a dream project: Design a town and palace complex. It involved lots of water. Leonardo’s last years in France were like a grand finale for his lifelong fascination with water. Then he dies. Because his soup is getting cold.
Like most men who didn’t have a supportive father, Leonardo seems to have spent his adult life searching for a father figure. Someone who would love him and indulge him, support him, protect him. He’d had many candidates who he either failed or they failed him. Very late in life, he finally found the perfect father figure – 21 year-old King Francis I of France.
We’re talking about the Nude Mona Lisa, how the OG version ended up in France., and the story about how an Italian stole it from the Louvre in 1911, increasing its level of fame.
Let’s talk about the painting of the Mona Lisa (aka La Gioconda) itself – how it was painted, and what it all means.