Art and Science

Vienna - Mosaic of Last supper of Jesus by Giacomo Raffaelli from year 1816 as copy of Leonardo da Vinci work on January 15. 2013 in VIenna.

Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper is an accepted masterpiece. His challenge was to paint the large piece in the dining hall of a small church in Milan. Fortunately, Da Vinci the artist was also an engineer who had mastered perspective, as well as a theatrical designer who could manipulate stage set pieces to engage audiences.

Da Vinci brilliantly combined the current scientific knowledge of light and perspective with imaginative leaps. When monks entered the hall, they viewed The Last Supper the same as a viewer standing much further away. Da Vinci also applied accelerated perspective to give the room itself greater depth. Tapestries in The Last Supper are painted to appear as though they are an extension of the actual room. And Da Vinci hammered a nail into the wall where he would paint the head of Jesus, so all lines of perspective converged onto his main subject.

Take a page from Da Vinci's notebook as you prepare your next presentation. Your content may not be new, but the way you express it can and should be. Consider the audience and how they will perceive your words. Intellect and rigor in assembling content provides the necessary foundation, yet true mastery requires imagination to create wonder for your audience.

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