For an Italian, and especially a Milanese like I am, Leonardo da Vinci is kind of the ultimate cultural symbol. It’s true that he was born in Florence and spent part of his life there, but he also lived for multiple years at different points of his life in my hometown of Milan. While in Milan, under the protection either of the Sforza family or the conquering French, Leonardo had a significant impact on the city, from it’s canals to its artistic heritage.
Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs has been gathering dust on my shelf for a while now (I’ll get to it eventually), but when I learned he had published a biography of Leonardo da Vinci, I immediately felt drawn to reading it. The biography was wonderful (full review below) and it was such a great coincidence that I finished it just ahead of my yearly summer trip to Milan. You pretty much can’t round a corner in Milan without happening upon a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit or one of his works. I’m sharing some images from the Leonardo3 exhibit I attended a few days ago that featured spell-binding re-imaginings of some of the designs Leonardo left us for machines he envisioned.