10 Things About LdV

All Visible Things is set in the world of Leonardo da Vinci, probably the greatest all-round genius to ever live. Here are ten true things about Leonardo that appear in the novel that may surprise you.

  1. There is a strong probability that Leonardo was an animal-loving vegetarian.
  2. Leonardo was strikingly handsome and a rather vain dandy.
  3. He probably spent more time and made more money from designing pageants and spectacles than from painting.
  4. In his day, he was considered a superb musician and singer.
  5. He was accused of the capital crime of committing homosexual acts, but not punished. The verdict was, essentially, ‘not guilty…but don’t do it again.’
  6. Leonardo and Machiavelli were good friends
  7. He is thought to have dissected over thirty corpses
  8. Leonardo and Michelangelo were rivals and even enemies; but they were each commissioned to paint a huge mural in what is now the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. This high-profile contest between the two greatest artists of all time resulted in … nothing. Well, they both made designs and even started work, but neither came anywhere close to completing his commission.
  9. The only complete version of Leonardo’s masterpiece, The Last Supper, is in London, in the Royal Academy.
  10. It’s really OK to call him ‘da Vinci’. Yes, it means ‘of Vinci’ but it was how he was addressed, even as ‘Leonardo da Vinci of Florence’. It isn’t any more wrong than calling that other famous Leonardo, ‘DiCaprio’ – in fact, it is exactly the same, but with a space.

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