Posted by: Mickey Goodman | September 30, 2009

Da Vinci Exhibit at the High Museum in Atlanta

Da Vinci at the High.

Oh, my!

Sforza Horse, conceived by DaVinci

Sforza Horse, conceived by DaVinci

I am greeted in the High Museum’s piazza by a 30-foot high bronze sculpture which I learn is a re-creation of the Sforza steed Leonardo spent 17 years creating in clay. Sadly, it was destroyed before it could be cast. This handsome beast — made in the original’s likeness — is fiberglass and steel. It’s an auspicious introduction to “Leonardo Da Vinci, Hand of the Genius,” the High’s latest coup.

With the exception of three larger-than-life size statues by Rustici and Donatello’s amazing Bearded Profit, other objects are on a much smaller scale. In fact, the twenty-four  sketches are so miniscule that the thoughtful High staff provides small magnifying glasses so visitors can catch every detail.

Created by the Renaissance Man himself, they are mere precursors of the actual works, but awe-inspiring. Meticulous measurements of a horse’s legs to get the exact proportions. Notes written in Leonardo’s unique mirror image cursive. Faces, old and young, but intricately detailed. Musculature so real it fairly jumps off the page. As a wannabe artist, I marvel at his precision.

Where Michaelangelo considered himself “The Sculptor of the Renaissance,” Leonardo claimed the tile,  “The Painter of the Renaissance.” Yet many of the sketches exhibited are clearly blueprints for planned sculptures, such as the giant horse near the entry.

I spend several hours re-visiting the exhibit, trying to soak up the details. For me, it was pure pleasure. Hats off to Michael Shaprio and David Brenneman, the High’s Dynamic Duo, who have once again brought fabulous art to a city once considered a cultural wasteland.  Today, calls it “one of 10 top U.S. cities for cultural tourism.”


Fave: small sketches of old man and young boy.



  1. Congrats on the blog and looking forward to reading!

    • Thanks for following me!

  2. Mickey – You are such a great writer! It is a pleasure seeing the world through your eyes via this blog. Looking forward to future posts!



    • Thanks, Shira. Haven’t seen you in forever! Let’s find a way to work together again…..

  3. Mickey–I might be really dense (in “can’t see the horses for the statues), but where is this city? Is it Atlanta, now being heralded in such a way, thanks to artists such as these? I just might wish to go, as well, and similarly soak up all the artistry.

    Yes, I love your descriptions, but I don’t know where “the High” is…..

    And thank you, too, for sharing your colorful thoughts with another, here in Asheville. This year I embark on attempts to plumb the depths of my own wannabe artist-in-paint possibilities, as opposed to writing.

    Mickey, I did create my own writing program for women in prison, in RI, and it was wonderful. I called it “Word Warriors: Empowering Women Through Effective Writing”. It was my attempts to enable them to be their own advocates, through writing, if they should have need. I used my own stories of my overcoming adversity in life, the building blocks I turned into positive.

    I wish we lived closer; I would love to get together. It sounds as if we have similar interests.

    Thank you,
    Colleen Kelly Mellor

    ***Google colleen kelly mellor for recent pubs.

    • Great comments, Colleen. Yes, I wish we did live closer. Would love to have participated in your Word Warrior program.

  4. Hi Mickey,

    Fellow ASJA’er here. Great blog, enjoyed poking around and reading. I share your love of all things chocolate. Looking forward to reading more.

    • Thanks, Dena! Wish I knew how to add a subscription list….

  5. Thanks for the beautiful articles. Your
    descriptions are fabulous and always enjoy seeing things through your eyes!

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