There are some developments in the School of Visual Arts unrest. I’ve been privy to some very distressing information that I will share in due time, I promise. But for now, if it’s all right with everyone, I’d like to take a temporary breather from this rather unpleasant situation. From a personal standpoint, avoiding the topic aids me in my “beast battle”. Trying not to get mentally bogged down in worries and tension, you see. From a blogging standpoint, avoiding it prevents Museworthy from morphing into a grievance parade, beset with negativity. Instead, my beloved blog can reclaim its sensitive soul and return to its primary purpose – it’s joy, its inspiration, its very reason for being – ART.
Let’s do a little da Vinci, shall we? After a miserable few days of suffering due to the destructive actions of a small, spiteful, myopic, mean-spirited person of no accomplishment, I thought it was only fitting to showcase an individual who is the complete opposite. In other words, a productive, forward-thinking person, a brilliant visionary, an innovator, a person of staggering intellectual and artistic gifts, a person with a profound sense of humanity, compassion, and love for his fellow man. A person who sought to promote positive change in the world. Yay for Leonardo!
According to Giorgio Vasari, Leonardo da Vinci was a man of “outstanding physical beauty”, “infinite grace”, “great strength and generosity”, “regal spirit and tremendous breadth of mind”. (Hmm . . . sounds just like the new model coordinator at SVA . . . NOT!!!)
Check out this exquisite portrait drawing by Leonardo. It’s called La Scapigliata. When I looked up the translation, I discovered that it means “disheveled hair”. Love it! However, with all due respect to the great Leonardo and his pretty model, I am the queen of disheveled hair. That’s right. Me! The main mophead. The top in tousled tresses. If da Vinci considered this to be “disheveled” hair, imagine what he would have done with my windswept shag!
Like so much of the art from the 15th and 16th centuries, many details are unknown. Was this a preliminary sketch for a painting? If so, which one? And who was model? Speculations abound, but we’ll never know for sure. There is even some dispute over this drawing’s attribution to Leonardo. Here on Museworthy, I say we give it to the guy. I’m not an art history cop. Just an admirer 🙂
While there are countless reasons to respect and admire the great Leonardo da Vinci, one of my personal favorites was his vegetarianism. His love of animals was intrinsic to both his character and his overall view of the world. Da Vinci believed deeply that humans share the earth with our “fellow mortals” and ethically disapproved of any suffering inflicted upon them at human hands. So throughout his 67 years he rejected the consumption of all animal flesh. Vasari even told of how da Vinci would purchase caged birds for sale, only to set them free in the countryside, to give them back their liberty, to allow them their natural right to live their lives on their own terms. And isn’t that all any of us wants?