Coffee morning talk 173 Leonardo da Vinci

Date(s) - 30th Sep 2019

The Wilson


The 2nd May 2019 marked the quincentenary of the death of the consummate Renaissance man, Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (1452-1519). This provides great scope to reflect on the prolific career of one of the most prodigious and multifarious talents of all time and heralds the unveiling of The Leonardo Project, 2014 to 2019. Scientist, inventor, engineer, architect, mathematician, artist and musician, Leonardo was the epitome of the Renaissance polymath. Leonardo devised pioneering prototypes for flying machines using the wing-structure of birds at a time when he also developed designs for caterpillar tracks for tanks and paradigms for the parachute and helicopter. As a giant of the High Renaissance, Leonardo, in fact, only completed approximately fifteen paintings. Furthermore, few of his designs were published in his lifetime and many remain inchoate yet leaving a legacy far from untouched: most recently American aeronautic engineers replicated Leonardo’s blueprint for the parachute, thankfully enjoying a pleasant flight!
Synonymous with dissection and visionary scientific invention himself, perhaps the most fascinating development has been the attempt to posthumously extrapolate DNA from Leonardo’s remains in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert at the Château d’Amboise in the Loire Valley in order to develop his genetic profile. The intention being; to make his clone. Dolly the Sheep was one thing, but a living Leonardo would surely be quite another!
Come along and provide your perspective on the most celebrated genius beyond Albert Einstein and assess how more contemporary geniuses such as Steve Jobs and James Dyson stack up against the percipient polymath of the cinquecento.
An exhibition to mark the quincentenary has been touring nationwide and is currently at the Queen’s Gallery London until 13 October.

The talk will be given by Nick Nelson, Head of History of Art at Cheltenham College and Director of Arcadia Education for Art History.

Time: Coffee from 11:00. Speaker: 11:30-12:30. Cost: £10.

If you have any questions please phone Alison on 01242 519413.

Please book using one of the following options:

  • On-line bookings with a debit or credit card, or Paypal account, can be made using the form below. Alternatively you may reserve your place, select the ‘off-line’ payment option and pay by bank transfer or cheque.
  • Bank transfer – please email and wait for confirmation that places are available before arranging your bank transfer.
  • Cheque – please complete a booking form (download here or available in the Friends’ newsletter) and post it with your cheque.

Places are not confirmed until payment is received.

Bank transfers should be made to 30-91-87 00005816. The reference must include your surname plus as much of the event title as will fit, for example SMITH T173.

Please make cheques payable to Friends of The Wilson and send with a SAE or clearly written email address to Mrs Alison Pascoe, 77 Naunton Lane, Cheltenham, GL53 7AZ.


Bookings are now closed for this event.