Salvador Dalí was inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci, 500 years his predecessor. Born five centuries apart, these two artistic giants shared many aspects of genius.
Da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, architect, scientist, engineer, mathematician, inventor, writer, anatomist, geologist, botanist, cartographer, musician; his multifaceted personality is much like that of Salvador Dalí.
Dalí was intrinsically able to transform his art in many different mediums, transforming himself effectively from painter, to sculptor, director, scenographer, illustrator, designing books and album covers. He designed dresses, jewels, produced adverts and logos, his scope seemingly knew no bounds. Da Vinci instead was an Italian polymath, an inventor; many historians in fact refer to Da Vinci as the ‘Renaissance man’. History had seen nothing quite like Da Vinci, his genius seems to have known no bounds.
Dalí embraced fame and popularity which came out of being born in the twentieth century, a completely different era to the one in which da Vinci lived in fiftieth century Florence
In the student magazine’ Studium’ published in 1919, Dalí wrote an essay on Da Vinci, defining him as, ‘The greatest master of painting, a soul that knew how to study, to invent, to create with ardour, passion and energy, which was how he lived his whole life. His paintings reflect his constant love, dedication and passion for his work.’
Dalí was passionate about Leonardo, not only for his artistic qualities but also because of his scientific knowledge, because, according to Dalì, every artist should be well-read in the sciences, and have received a wide education, to be able to become complete as an artist.
Dalí was an enigma born in the twentieth century. Da Vinci ‘s mind and his creations had no parallel in history, it is no wonder that Dalí found him a source of inspiration.