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Leonardo used his wit to mask his shortcomings and talk his way out of the trouble or embarrassment caused by his behaviour.
Together they studied the human body and performed dissections that Leonardo beautifully depicted.
This was the only period in his anatomical career during which Leonardo ‘was able to attain a balance between detail and coverage’.
The story of Da Vinci is one of a paradox—a great mind that has compassed the wonders of anatomy, natural philosophy and art, but also failed to complete so many projects (Freud, 1922; Kemp, 2006).
The excessive time dedicated to idea planning and the lack of perseverance seems to have been particularly detrimental to finalize tasks that at first had attracted his enthusiasm.
Five hundred years have passed since the death of Leonardo da Vinci, and much has been written about him.
Leonardo the artist, the scientist, the architect, the inventor, whose genius has been perceived as the allure of an unfathomable riddle.
Alone, Leonardo never managed to organize his large number of anatomical drawings into coherent material for publication.
In his notebooks he dishearteningly annotated: ‘It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end’.
Leonardo’s first important commissioned works, some obtained through his father’s connections, were prepared at length but quickly abandoned. Leonardo's struggle to work independently as an artist might also explain his unduly prolonged stay in the Verrocchio workshop lasting until the age of 26 when he probably managed to set up his own independent studio in Florence.
On 10 January 1478 he received his first recorded commission as an independent painter, a large altarpiece to hang in the Chapel of San Bernardo.