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The Daily Mashup: Leonardo da Vinci to Leonardo DiCaprio

17 Jun

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Leonardo da Vinci was a man of many talents and is considered to be one of the smartest people to ever live. He is best known for his skills in painting, including of course the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Other than a painter, da Vinci was also a sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. That’s a lot of talents! However impressive that he is, he wasn’t ever an actor or film producer like our American treasure Leonardo DiCaprio. Though they don’t have any talents or professions in common, they share plenty of other things.

Here are a few similarities:

An obvious comparison is that these two have the same name, but it is also true that this was intentionally done. When DiCaprio’s mom was pregnant with him, she and DiCaprio’s dad happened to be in a gallery in Florence, Italy. They were looking at some of the great works of da Vinci. When looking at one of the paintings done by the famous artist, DiCaprio kicked for the first time. According to DiCaprio, his father took this as a cosmic sign and the couple decided his name had to be Leonardo.

From the name Leonardo, it’s easy to assume these two men are Italian. Leonardo da Vinci was born in Vinci in the region of Tuscany, Italy and spent most of his childhood there. Both of his parents were also Italian. Once his professional career started, he lived in other places around Italy and for a period spent some time living in France. Leonardo DiCaprio has Italian roots from his father who is half Italian and came from the Naples area in Italy.

These Leonardos were both raised Roman Catholic. Leonardo da Vinci was baptized into the Roman Catholic Chruch but because of his in-depth research and dedication to science, he had a hard time relying on the faith-based teachings of Christianity. He was far from being a devout Catholic, writing very little about religion, and created religious paintings simply because he was commissioned to do so. Leonardo DiCaprio shares this stray from Catholic roots by claiming he is non-religious but he isn’t an atheist. In other words, da Vinci and DiCaprio seem relatively uninterested in religion.

Another thing they have in common is that they were both an only child. Leonardo da Vinci was actually the result of an out-of-wedlock relationship between his father, a wealthy Florentine legal notary named Piero da Vinci, and a peasant named Caterina. He was the only child of his wealthy father and peasant mother, until he gained a few half siblings from is father’s third and forth marriages when Leonardo was in his 20s. Leonardo DiCaprio was the only child born from parents Irmelin and George DiCaprio. When Leonardo was one year old, his parents split and he remained an only child.

Speaking of parents, both da Vinci and DiCaprio were raised by their mother. Though there is little known about Leonardo da Vinci’s childhood, we know he spent at least the first five years of his life on a small settlement within a village in Vinci with his peasant mother. She took care of him until he was moved to his father’s home when he was a little older. Leonardo DiCaprio lived mostly with his mother after his parent’s divorce. Him and his mother lived in several different neighborhoods in the LA area. His mother worked several jobs to support them both.

Leonardo da Vinci and Leonardo DiCaprio surprisingly both struggled with a mental or learning disorder during their lifetimes. Da Vinci struggled with dyslexia, a learning disorder which leads to difficulty with reading despite normal intelligence. Problems include not being able to sound out words, read quickly, write words, pronounce words, or understand what was read. DiCaprio revealed to Katy Couric in 2004 that he struggled with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for most of his adult life. OCD is a mental disorder that occurs when excessive thoughts lead to repetitive behaviors. He often feels the need to walk through doorways multiple times.

Both have a connection to the LGBT community. It is heavily speculated that da Vinci was gay and Sigmund Freud also supports this. In a letter from Freud to a mother of a gay son who wished him to be “treated” by Freud, the psychoanalysis expert comforted her by telling her that being gay is neither a crime or a sickness. In the letter he states, “Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them.” He then lists the names of Plato, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci as examples. DiCaprio himself isn’t gay, but he is a gay rights activist. He donated $61,000 to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in 2013, an organization dedicated to promoting the image of the LGBT community in the media.
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By Molly Mae Force, Cool Girls Reporter. Connect with me on LinkedIn: Linkedin.com/in/mollymaeforce

Look out for my upcoming book: Mashup Madness: History Made Fun Through Past and Present Icons

 

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