I’ve been reading the biography of Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson, and it’s insightful to learn that even an artist of such enormous stature as Leonardo had his own role models and influences. It is somehow liberating to find out the small, even mundane details about people, who are universally recognized as absolute giants of achievement. The more you know about your idols, the more human they become. In fact, some say you should never meet your idealized role models in person because of the risk of becoming disillusioned with them.
Leonardo, most likely, had never met his role model, Leon Battista Alberti, who was influential among artists and engineers of his time. Curiously, Leonardo strived to develop his uniques style, without much regard to the option of others, but in everyday, mundane matters, he aimed to exercise artistic approach, following Alberti’s maxim: “One must apply the greatest artistry in three things: walking in the city, riding a horse, and speaking, for in each of these one must try to please everyone.” Leonardo, apparently, became a model for his contemporaries in all three.