Starting in 2007 this blog documents the multiple attempts to write a book about Leonardo da Vinci, with random thoughts and posts along the way. In early 2016 I finally gave up (or in?) on that and it was the most free'ing decision I've ever made. Maybe i'll go back to it eventually but now i'm able to focus on my other passions. The things I wanted to do "Once I finish, someday." I learned what I didn't like and what didn't work. Now it's time to figure out what I do want and what does.
The Human Robot
Da Vinci's sketches for the
inner-workings of his Robotic Knight
The idea of "Robots" or a mechanical man - or a non-living thing that could move have been around for thousands of years. Aristotle mentioned them as a way to end slavery. The 6th Century Chinese experimented with water clocks which could be considered the first type of "Robotics" There are other myths and legends of mechanical devices but not really any direct evidence that they actually existed or were built.
A rare exception is not surprisingly from Leonardo da Vinci. Although he probably didn't conceive of the idea he did, supposedly, design and create a working robotic man. It wore knight armor and could walk, sit, move it's arms, and head! The greatest limiting factor to a robot of that time, and other Leonardo's designs was the lack of a power source. He pushed the technology of his time to it's limits but there is still only so much you can do with springs, heavy metals, and wood. Electric power and plastics as well as computer processors are the precursors for more advanced robotics.
Today we have robots that can walk and talk and even solve problems. I think the reason that robots haven't really been more prevalent is that they have not advanced to the level of practical uses. When they are able to clean our houses or build houses or mine or bring us a beer - then there would be a huge progression in the technology. Until then they are just expensive toys. The other advancement that has to happen first is their artificial intelligence. We have the processors and the technology for them to process information but the learning and software required to adapt and do more advanced tasks is still lacking. You can have a perfect robot that is capable of doing anything a real man could do but until it's "mind" is able to use it's body independently they won't be of much use. BUT when they do reach that level, which could be anytime in the next 10 years there is going to be a huge change in the world.
There will be a lot of other considerations - what would people do when their jobs could be done by a robot? What would war become with soldiers that could be built? Then as the robot's mind evolves and it could become advanced enough to be self aware or considered "Alive" a whole new set of problems would happen. Does it have rights? Should it be considered a person? If a robot were to look and act and think exactly like a human - would it be a human? Would it be as real as something biologically based?
These potential and probably inevitable problems have been explored in movies and fiction for years. Ai (I wish Stanley Kubrick would have Directed it!), The Matrix, IRobot, Terminator, and especially Blade Runner. The most interesting part of all of this fiction is that it's probably, actually, going to happen!
I don't know about you but I would totally want a robot friend! I think the coolest part of it will be the Ai. With all of the wireless technologies the "home base" or where the memories and processors are (It's brain) could be anywhere. Then all it would take for a very highly advanced Ai to be on a small phone, or in your car, or in your tv, would be for it to be sent' there. That would mean that you could talk to it, or whatever you would do with it, anywhere even if it's core is located somewhere else! I think that is going to be the future of household electronics anyways. One central computer that does everything - then all it does is send a signal to a screen anywhere in the house. The technology for that is already here, but we haven't really implemented it - yet!
(The "Savior of the World" that I am referring to in this post was not the painting being considered to be by Leonardo. It was one of his apprentices. Click on the image above to go to the blog that is about the correct painting.
It is going to be exhibited at London's National Gallery in November and auctioned off. It has been estimated to sell for 100-200 MILLION dollars. There is still some controversy if it really is a Leonardo da Vinci painting.
Interestingly I have a picture of Salvado Mundi in my book. I had compared it to the Shroud of Turin & the vitruvian man: both of which I think were created by Leonardo himself. I think he purposely painted the Salvado Mundi as further proof that he also created the Shroud of Turin.
They say that great artists "use lies to tell the truth." I think the Salvator Mundi was painted …
Leonardo da Vinci was born in a town called Vinci in 1452. He left behind thousands of pages of journals and hundreds if not thousands of works of art. He was obsessed with mirrors and painted more portraits than anything else (that we know of) so it's been sort of a mystery as to what he really looked like. Why aren't there more, if any, obvious portraits of himself?
Almost every artist, especially painters, and even more so - painters who paint portraits paint themselves a lot. If you have the urge to start painting, and there is no one around - you are always there. I know personally that I have more pictures of myself than anything else. Why? Cause i'm there, all the time.
I would imagine that Leonardo painted himself, a lot. I would go so far as to say he was his own greatest subject. He was obsessed with mirrors, he painted a lot, he wasn't always around a lot of people, and getting people to stay still for long amounts of time is very difficult. When you are loo…
With this one below. The one above is obviously very similar and was by Bernardino Luini who was said to have worked directly with Leonardo. I had thought it was the painting to have been authenticated to be by da Vinci. I tried the mirroring technique and it worked almost identically on both paintings - both Luini's and da Vinci's. They definitely shared techniques and these paintings were inspired by each other. It would be interesting to know who painted which -first. I would go with Luini trying to emulate Leo.
I believe that Leo and his fellow artists would try to compete with each other to see who could paint a more complicated and "better" painting. Not only that but Leonardo was trying to teach his friends and apprentices and what better way than "Try to do this!"
The curls in the hair are reminiscent of St. John the baptist, and the hands and skin look like the Mona L…