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Italy Honors Leonardo da Vinci 500 Years After his Death


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  • Leicester Codex, Florence (on loan from Bill Gates)

  • Leonardo, Self-Portrait, Turin

0n May 2, 2019, Italy and the world honor the day, 500 years ago, when Leonardo da Vinci died. A host of exhibitions offered in Italy will last much of the year.

Walter Isaacson, author of "Leonardo da Vinci," says an important lesson to take away from the famed painter who is at the center of his latest biography is that "being curious about everything not only makes you more creative, it enriches your life. "
"What makes him a creative genious I think is that he was curious about everything," Isaacson said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday.
"It was a curiosity that was passionate, playful, and it was curiosity for its own sake, which is what make him feel the patterns of nature," he added.
Asked about the mystery and allure of one of a Vinci's most well-known works, the Mona Lisa, Issacson called it a "culmination of somebody who spent a life looking at science anatomy geology, but also philosophy and spirituality."
"Every time you see her she seems to have a different emotion, and you have a different emotion, and the smile flickers back on. This is magical. It's showing inner emotion reflected on a face," he said.
Isaacson called da Vinci "very collegial, very friendly," saying he had everybody at the time "refer to him as their best friend."
He added, "He makes everybody feel the way to be more creative is not to specialize, not to silo yourself as we sometimes do to our kids, but to curious about everything for curiosity's sake."
For more of Isaacson's discussion on da Vinci with John Dickerson, watch the full interview above.

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