One of history’s finest artists, Leonardo da Vinci, was demeaned by his biographer. Giorgio Vasari described da Vinci as touched by God. In fact, da Vinci was mortal, but endowed with two critical traits-- unbridled imagination and intellectual curiosity.
Surprisingly, Da Vinci had almost no schooling. But he taught himself engineering, mathematics, optics, weaponry and wrote over 7,200 pages of notes. Da Vinci peeled the skin off cadavers to study facial muscles and created the Mona Lisa smile. Most importantly, he traversed multiple disciplines, drawing in his notebook ringlets of hair, eddies in a stream, and swirling wind. In his paintings, he mastered shading and perspective. Largely due to him, dimensionality became the supreme innovation of Renaissance art.
What can we mortals create with a healthy dose of curiosity and imagination? When you next prepare to fashion a presentation, or unique way to engage an audience, look around. Notice an exceptional acceptance speech at an awards ceremony, Mozart’s interplay of themes in his concertos, or how a current event links to your topic. Our hope is that you will be inspired to incorporate new approaches. Make your own Giaconda Smile.