Leonardo vs - about the route to wisdom preferring...

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Leonardo vs. the NeoPlatonists Legend has it that Leonardo was Raphael's model for Plato in the School of Athens , and he would probably been appalled if he knew of this, for the scientific and artistic Leonardo apparently had little sympathy for the lofty poetic Neoplatonism of the Medici court. Rohatyn writes, Platonic aesthetics he had no time for; he was too busy creating perfection to sit back and idly contemplate it. And the man often called the greatest genius of all time felt inadequate! Leonardo, says Italo Calvino, had a difficult relationship with the written word. He was, in his own estimation, an omo sanza lettere, an unlettered and uneducated man. His knowledge, continues Calvino, was without equal in the world, but his ignorance of Latin and grammar prevented him from communicating in writing with the learned men of his time. Learned men looked down on him, so he in turn shunned their ideas
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Unformatted text preview: about the route to wisdom, preferring observation, experience, and experiment to contemplation. In his notebooks he wrote; "I am fully conscious that, not being a literary man, certain presumptuous persons will think that they may reasonable blame me; alleging that I am not a man of letters. Foolish folks! do they not know that I might retort . .. that they, who deck themselves out in the labors of others will not allow me my own . .. they do not know that my subjects are to be dealt with by experience rather than words, and experience has been the mistress of those who wrote well." The phrase ... they who deck themselves out in the labors of others must certainly be a jab at the neoPlatonists, decking themselves out in the labors of Plato....
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This note was uploaded on 11/05/2011 for the course ARH ARH2000 taught by Professor Karenroberts during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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