Leonardo Da Vinci in Popular Culture

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Leonardo Da Vinci in Popular Culture
Leonardo's childhood home in Anchiano. Photo: wikipedia.org.

NEW YORK, NY.- Leonardo Da Vinci has had a massive impact on popular culture to this day and is perhaps the painter that has remained in the conscience of even those with no particular interest in art more so than anyone else. Much of this is down to the fact that he was much more than an artist – a polymath to be precise – and that allows him to adapt to the interests of many individuals. He is of course the man behind the Mona Lisa, perhaps the most famous painting of all time, but his other works have served as the basis for many derivatives. Today, we are going to take a closer look at just how Da Vinci remains at the forefront of our thoughts through his prominence in games, movies and more – with some being a little more tongue in cheek than others.

The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code and its sequels are some of the best performing novel and movie series of all-time and while the links to Da Vinci himself are limited, the original book has arguably done more to ensure the continued respect for the Da Vinci name than anything else. The most striking link between Da Vinci and the plot is the discovery of a murder victim in the Grand Gallery of the Louvre, which has been posed in a similar manner to Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man drawing.

Even as the Da Vinci name is dropped from subsequent releases, such as in Angels and Demons, the wider public still consider this to be the ‘Da Vinci Code’ series, ensuring that many more individuals are exposed to the name and works of the man.

Epic Rap Battles of History
A YouTube phenomenon, Epic Rap Battles of History takes famous faces from any time period and pits them against each other in a battle of braggadocio. Da Vinci appeared in one sketch as ‘himself’, played by Link Neal, as he was joined by Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael to defend the quality of their works, among other things. Suitably enough, their opponents for this battle were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who were uncoincidentally named after the famous painters that they were up against.

Da Vinci Diamonds
Da Vinci has inspired and even created many things over the years, but we can only assume that slot machines were something that never really crossed his mind. However, we are sure that he would be pleased to discover that he is the featured star of one of the most played casino games of all time, featuring precious stones and iconic Da Vinci imagery, such as the Mona Lisa itself. Even online casino players are not exempt from finding out all about the influence of Leonardo!

Slot games are not the only brand of digital entertainment in which Leonardo Da Vinci is brought to the forefront, and Sid Meier’s Civilisation series is one that does a better job than most at bringing history to the fore. Da Vinci’s Workshop is considered by fans to be one of the most useful of the World Wonders available within the game, and Leonardo himself also makes an appearance as one of several Great Person characters, imparting wisdom and knowledge onto players and, perhaps unwittingly, assisting them as they look to take over the world.

Marvel Comics
Comic books may be stocked with original creations but they are no strangers to drawing on famous figures to inspire characters, with Thor being perhaps the most obvious example. The recent Marvel series S.H.I.E.L.D. involves Leonardo Da Vinci, who is depicted as the leader of the Brotherhood of the Shield. That organisation exists within his own lifetime, but in this instance he has also mastered time travel, enabling him to appear in the comic’s current timeline too.

If you measure a great artist or painter by his influence outside his original works, then it is fair to say that Leonardo Da Vinci stands out head and shoulders above anyone else, and looks set to continue to live on through new interpretations of his own life and works.

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Leonardo Da Vinci in Popular Culture

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