Leonardo Da Vinci – ADHD in 1510

Leonardo Da Vinci

The original Renaissance man meets the original Renaissance woman as Martha Stewart visits Leonardo Da Vinci’s workshop. Leo demonstrates painting, anatomy, dissection, fortress building, weapon design, and much more. The episode also features a folk singer, Gordon Slicefoot, crooning about the perils of human dissection. There’s parodies of Married With Children, and ads for some of the more bizarre products of the 15th century.

There’s a good chance Leonardo Da Vinci had ADD.

This episode features parodies of Martha Stewart, Hollywood Squares, Pikachu, Gordon Lightfoot, Everybody Loves Raymond, Married With Children, and Dirty Harry.

Ever wonder if you have ADD?  Try Rick Green’s online ADHD Test  at TotallyADD.

YouTube transcript
Welcome to History Bites I’m Rick Green.

What Does Renaissance Man Really Mean?

Perhaps it’s a sign of the times but people today always misuse the term a Renaissance man, they apply it to anyone who has more than one skill.

The actor who can play an instrument or the computer programmer who’s written a science fiction novel.

Oh look jr. can walk and talk.  What it should mean is a person who has achieved real greatness in a wide range of
different disciplines someone like well the original Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci.

Leo painted, he sculpted, he wrote,
he sliced, he diced, he was a draftsman, a defense contractor, an engineer, and an
architect, he could even do you a nice patio.

So let’s go back to 1483 and get a
first-hand look at this multi-talented guy.   Now where would you find the ultimate Renaissance man? Probably right alongside the ultimate Renaissance woman, on television.

Martha Stewart Parody

Hello I’m Martha and I’m a good thing.
I’m here this week at the fabulous home of one of the richest Nobles in Italy the Duke of Sforza. The Duke is the
unpatronizing patron of my very dear friend Leonardo da Vinci.  Hello Leo.
Oh hi it’s great to have you here Maria.

Martha.  Well perhaps you can
tell us a bit about what you do for your patron and the Duke, it’s not just oil paintings is it?

Oh no I do oil paintings
as well, but you know I also do
architecture, sculpting, house paintings, as well as fortifications and war machines because you know what war machines pay the bills boys and girls.

know exactly what it’s like with all the nobles away at war, in the morning I’m boiling oil for dinner and later in the day I’ll probably end up dumping it over some attacking army or angry investors storming my home.

Yes, okay now speaking
of attacking and I want to show you something look.

Oh I love this it looks
like some sort of covered gazebo.

know that’s exactly how it started out you know the Duke wanted a place in the garden with benches where intellectuals could discuss Renaissance philosophy,
then I thought you know what this shape you know put some wheels on it and voila you’ve got a fabulous war machine.

sort of like a warship for the land, and I see you have guns sticking out all around.

Guns to blast ’em  wheels to
crush ’em.

Them there’s some sort of
battering ram here no no that’s actually a bench to discuss Renaissance philosophy.

HollyWood Squares Parody

I’ll pick Gary Shandino to block.
Okay Gary I hear you just started a new job.

That’s right I’m working as a j
ester with the Sforza family right now up in Milan, thank you.
We wish you the best of luck with that, here’s the
question.  What thing in an artist studio is worth more than gold more than gold?
More than gold huh, well that’s probably the artists ego, no
seriously I’m gonna say it’s one of the blue paints they use because you know those blue paints can be worth a fortune
so I say it’s Azurite.
I’m gonna agree.

Oh so close it’s a blue pigment
but the actual answer is ultramarine, the blue they use to paint the Virgin Mary’s
you know why don’t we say when
you’re when you’re building a war
machine you should always start with the
steering mechanism there you know what
we can do this later
let me show you the garden I make
the Dooku’s forces estate is spacious
and beautiful nearly as beautiful as my
own in fact this would make a fabulous
note yes
Moke they’re earthworks over there and
we got a hard road gonna come right
through here for moving canons defences
are always changing you’ve got to keep
them guessing and a road really is the
perfect thing for a noble on a budget to
really stretch his canons
try putting them on a perimeter wall
they make a really strong statement the
Renaissance was a time of tremendous
innovation artists were experimenting
with new painting techniques doctors
were learning about the human body by
studying corpses and some people were
doing both repairing the quacks which
gave me an idea for planning a pageant
and then I also used it when I was
planning that bronze statue which well
you know if I have to finish or let’s
start actually right but getting back to
painting Leonardo
there’s nothing more embarrassing than
commissioning a portrait and finding out
that the proportions have come out all
wrong and before you got on to botany
and flying Leonardo you were saying that
before you paint you spend a lot of time
studying the human form exactly yeah but
you know I also like to cut up human
bodies and and then I draw what I see
it’s a real slice of life it’s quite
difficult finding the bodies isn’t it
well you’ve been reading my mind or my
notebooks well you know actually nobody
can read my notebooks because of my
secret writing like Copernicus and
Galileo many of da Vinci’s ideas were
revolutionary now today revolutionary
ideas could earn you a Nobel Prize in
the 15th century they could get you
imprisoned or burned at the stake since
a lot of Leonardo’s ideas were so
cutting-edge they could have been
considered dangerous he wrote his notes
in a secret code ixnay on the era see
hey okay you see that you see that you
see how cunningly disguise the writing
is you see that see that’s a secret
method I’ve developed so that no one can
read it
I used a mirror perhaps Amir Amir would
course make it less difficult Yoga Yoga
we’re being attacked
it’s an army of strange machines I
summon the power of alchemy what you
said about those crazy war machines da
Vinci do son I said they were too
advanced and couldn’t be built because
his instructions were illegible just
gibberish he do flying machines and
tanks but his nuts were just the
nonsense drawings of a mad scribbling
clever genius
there’s no can be read in a mirror and
they’re in a secret shorthand of course
our code so no one could accuse him of
writing heresy the left-handed devil
oh dear the Vinci’s joins came alive yes
we better run yeah da Vinci also blew
dead bodies once in a lifetime comes a
songwriter who captures the sound of an
era when Gordon sliced foot was the
greatest of them all he sang about human
dissection and his songs cut to the bone
let me snip away snip away now you can
own 20 hits by this country’s greatest
vivisectionist minstrel it’s alright for
some but not all around
I’ve also used a short hand the short oh
speaking of short hands you know I love
to draw hands but they’re very difficult
so you know what I do I dissect them go
up go up
I’ve got some heads right over here now
in dissecting freshness is important
isn’t it Leonardo Martha I start with
the freshest corpses I can find you know
I try the hospital or get them a little
embarrassed to say this but grave
robbers and also there’s dead bodies now
and then at the gallows or you know what
the public stocks now I’ve had a lot of
trouble with public stocks well the
problem with execution victims is it the
medical schools get some fresh pickings
well Leonardo and I want to get the
freshest corpses I can find I know I can
rely on my loyal servant Pedro Pedro
I’ve heard great things about you whoa
that’s fresh
she’s buried Six Feet Under
I couldn’t care less the sun’s down I
better take care cuz I have to steal her
body from that graveyard there
Gordon’s musical legacy poignant and
anatomically correct has inspired
artists and doctors now all that
knowledge is gathered in one great set
of songs and I’ll touch your heart and
then cut it open to see what’s inside
I can see veins in your eyes I found a
brand new muscle
I can see things
whenever I pull the tendons like this
you you think hands are complicated on
the outside look what coming inside I
must say that as an artist dissections
really give me a sense of how the whole
thing is put together this collection
includes his poignant and prophetic
that’s what
spear Anatomy I’m caught and swinging on
the news when a bit they’ll cut me loose
they’ll start dissecting me my hands are
really difficult that’s why yeah that’s
why I like to study the the skeleton and
and the musculature and you know the way
the the folds of skin go and do you use
the rule of fives I don’t know that one
I discovered this rule myself when I was
under her ochio hey I studied under bra
here too for years
oh I wasn’t studying just under him but
I did think of this wonderful rule for
drawing fingers start drawing fingers
and then you count as you go right until
you get to five and then you stop it
gives you a very natural looking hand
when you draw five fingers four fingers
and a thumb actually when we return
Aeronautics and aqua knotek’s and
armaments and architecture chemistry
physics anatomy biology alchemy and more
let me snip away snip away
leonardo was a great one for pulling
different disciplines together he
carried out experiments with different
mixtures of paints he studied the
mathematics of perspective and he was
interested in the links between geometry
and beauty talk about painting by
Leonardo is fascinated by the
relationship between art and mathematics
this is also an interest in mind the way
that the artist can transform paint wood
and canvas into hundreds or even
thousands of gold ducats which is how
architecture led me to look at ways of
improving stage lighting inside theaters
using just getting back to mathematics
and your study of art oh all right yeah
well we majors all about math I mean
look oh look look look take a look at
this sketch here you know you’ll see the
link between geometry and Anatomy what a
wonderful design I love the use of
proportions here which almost remind me
of the ideas of the Roman architecture
through this message in this picture
Leonardo well maybe a guy can be well
rounded and still a bit of a square
okay now if this doesn’t work with a
catapult I can use it for scaffolding
for the Last Supper OC supper because
I’ve got some great experts agree breast
milk is best for babies and they agree
a woman who is breastfeeding should
refrain from sexual activity so like
most new fathers you’ll want to pack
your newborn after a wet nurse as fast
as you can but choose your wetness
carefully because breast milk not only
carries the nutrients that growing
babies need it also transmits the
physical and moral traits of the donor
hire a loose woman and your child may
swallow a wanton lifestyle that’s what I
did I painted the dragon on the shield
and my father was just scared to death
because he thought that it was a real
bride I know I’m going to interrupt you
here because he made an interesting
point earlier what was your original
point my underwater suit no before that
said my book of fables know something
about how you love animals I love to
draw horses no no it was only about how
you like to go to the marketplace and
buy pigeons that are being sold for food
and then just released yet I’d like to
release them just to watch them fly free
you know what I designed the machine
with yes it’s so interesting
don’t lie to me Raymond I saw you
dancing in the street with another woman
okay okay you wanna know why I was
dancing with her
we were damn waiting yeah it was they
who is the tarantella Karen oh my god
you mean the spider dance yeah you got
bitten by one of those poisonous Italian
tarantula spider yeah yeah yeah that’s
it Oh God I’ve heard about that you get
bitten and the poison it it makes you
dance and it’s horrible
well what did you take anything for it I
could mix up some fairy I have a Viper’s
flash in the cupboard and Noah Rou
leaves those are very good against
poison oh no no you see they see that
that’s exactly what what was she was
giving me you see she she saw that I had
been bitten and so she was giving me
some rulli’s yeah poisonous but she
didn’t notice that that that the spider
was still there and so it bit her – I
thought that you and that woman we’re
making the beast with two backs we were
making the beast with eight legs yeah
now I’ve added pheasant and rabbit and
venison to my vegetarian pie and the
rich juices using from the flesh really
enhance the flavor of the vegetables
while we waited for the pies to cook
Leonardo who never sits still as you can
imagine showed me some of his newest
artistic creations I see you drawn some
horses here you know I love horses think
that’s a sensitive eyes don’t they you
know what mother you cannot create a
sensitive work of art if you are not
sensitive to animals can’t be done it
looks like they’re pulling some sort of
horse-drawn mower here oh oh that’s
close to you know what that is it’s an
assault chariot right you see all those
blades they were all around that cut off
the enemy’s arms and legs and stop stop
stop stop
olá head you know what let me just draw
some limbless bodies in here and and
they’re flailing around in agony and and
they’re twitching they’re ditching their
severed muscles right in there when
victims add so much to a drawing and
look at this horse look at this horse
doesn’t have sad eyes you know what you
can see this horse trotting behind the
crucifixion huh or or the martyrdom of
Saint Sebastian right Saint Sebastian
was there right and he’s not all the
arrows sticking out of remains total
agony right and all the sudden sees this
horse pulling this gripping chopping
machine coming towards when he’s like
hey you know what let’s do it let’s do
it right now on the empty wall on the
chapel come on it’s cold come on talent
and genius made da Vinci famous his
political savvy made him successful
you see Leonardo was also a genius at
finding funding yes his imagination
sword but his feet were on the ground
and ready to walk away like today’s free
agent sports heroes Renaissance artists
and engineers were always looking for
bigger bucks and a better position with
another Prince in another city and Leo
played ball for some of the top teams in
Italy show me the money
who’s paying for these sketches anyway I
mean why is is the production pink I
mean first the patron and the paint
that’s what I’d say okay arts art but
you gotta eat mrs. da Vinci but I don’t
know what to paint
meow sorry the bitches already painted
plenty of horse faces well I hear da
Vinci doesn’t like girls why not paint
me in the nude I don’t have a brush big
enough sure sure
you just need a little page hey don’t
patronize me peg yeah I need a patron to
pay me to paint his family or better
still his mistress you see that way I
can create an artistic legacy for the
ages and stared a naked babe that’s it
I’m gonna find the richest guy in town
and say if you pay me 500 bucks I’ll
paint your mistress you see the way to
water reflects the sunlight it just kind
of goes up Oh
hydraulics hydraulic Sutra you know we
could we could pump the moat dry coming
up we’ll focus on Leonardo’s inability
to focus well look cows
cuz I have to steal ur body the Metra
garden today there are some people who
believe that Leonardo da Vinci’s lack of
focus was the result of attention
deficit disorder interesting idea people
with AD D find it easy to start
something but difficult to stick with it
and finish it and for every completed
masterpiece like the Mona Lisa
Leonardo left dozens of unfinished
there were always of their little
projects to distract them you know so
say you’re a bishop or something and you
really like to have a portrait of your
mistress painted you can get the church
to pay for it if you have your mistress
poor create as a biblical character so
that’s a little money saving tip right
but what now okay well you just mix in
some of this wonderful Ethiopian wolf oh
and I just love that just feel that it’s
so soft I just love the Ethiopian world
me too now you add the frankincense just
like they gave the baby Jesus that’s
right the very same and mix it up and
voila and it’s finished
there you have a Greek fire ala Leonardo
and you know Martha this you can like
this you can hurl it at a ship it’ll
stick to the wood the sails and even if
the ship goes underwater Greek fire just
keeps going and going and going you know
speaking of underwater I wonder if we
could build a submarine and I imagine
this Greek fire would stick to sailors
as well oh that’s right yes hello and
goodbye sailor talk about your jacket
are did I ever tell you how fin phenom
am about animals yes you know I’d like
to go draw some animals right now I know
what you’re thinking did he fire one
shot or only zero did he remember to put
in the wadding so the musket ball would
stay in place is this gunpowder damp
as rain fallen in the flash man as his
guns wit gone out it’s too windy to
ignite him if he does fired can hit a
man-sized target of two yards but benas
this is a 75 Ark of us the most powerful
handgun in the world and employer has
clean off you’ve got to ask yourself one
do I feel lucky well given the odds you
probably do okay this is another flying
machine that I saw when I am right saw a
seed flying that’s what that was this is
the that could be farm machinery or
something there’s a there’s a church
dome that’s something like that and
there’s an ostrich and there’s no I
think that’s a Medusa oh no that’s the
drawing you did of me earlier today oh
right yeah right well you know I haven’t
I haven’t decided whether I’m gonna use
blue in that painting all right I’ll
decide that when I do the actual
painting painting painting you know what
I just forgot that I didn’t finish the
adoration of the Magi it said the
monastry at Santa Ana Escobedo oh you
know what I was gonna put a camel in
there because you know camels have got
such expressive lips or Justin president
they’re just so great for an adoring
painting you know I know you have a
don’t you for not finishing the works it
begins it’s like the altarpiece
for the st. Bernard chapel at the
palazzo della signoria Leo I must say
there’s only something interesting just
around the corner
oh yeah show me you know I start
someplace I get an itchy feet and then
I’m off to find a new patron I came I
saw I left the fresco unfinished then
even even chief hilarious I’m gonna put
you in my notebook I’m gonna cry
where’s my mirror you know what that
could invent a new mirror
in the Renaissance Leonardo was treated
with admiration today he probably would
have been treated with Ritalin
but then maybe you would have finished
something unfortunately no matter how
much we admire da Vinci the fact is
today most progress comes from highly
focused specialists recent history has
been shaped by those whose knowledge
goes narrow and deep and for the
Renaissance man history bites yes I
think that pies may be cool enough to
eat now see this flying machine will
carry four or five people I like to
design flying machines that can carry a
hundred people at once yeah well this
one will travel as fast as the wind and
it’s powered by a hand-cranked engine
right there see mine will travel as fast
as thought is powered by six strong
Griffin’s yeah mine still in the
planning stages probably six months to
complete you a lot of technical
difficulties mine is decades away from
completion and the technical problems
are insurmountable