Leonardo da Vinci's astonishing life unified art and science, which later tragically split into separate realms.
A monumental exhibit at the Louvre in Paris that opened Thursday reflects how Leonardo's art and scientific endeavors reflected each other. The exhibit is a major cultural event, with extensive reviews in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and other publications.
Marking the 500th anniversary of Leonardo's death, the exhibit gathers 160 drawings, manuscripts, sculptures and paintings organized to trace Leonardo's development from youth to old age.
Adding to the Louvre's collection, major museums from around the world lent works to the exhibit, the result of intense negotiations, as detailed in a recent Wall Street Journal article.
A last minute court ruling in Italy allowed Leonardo's delicate Vitruvian Man diagram to travel from Venice to Paris. Its artistry and scientific precision is on a spectrum with his great paintings such as John the Baptist, the Madonna of the Rocks and the Virgin and Child With St. Anne.
Leonard's most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, remains on another floor of the Louvre. The enigmatic painting receives a throng of visitors, which would make the exhbit's crowds unmanageable.
A portrait of the elderly Leonardo drawn by one of his assistants comes at the close of the exhibit, a testament to Leonardo's humanity.
The Louvre has gathered a bountiful selection of Leonardo's scattered works into a comprehensive whole. As humanity's worst attributes gain prominence, the Leonardo exhibit shows our highest aspirations.