“The mouth, with its opening joining the red of the lips to the flesh of the face, seemed to be real flesh rather than paint. Anyone who looked very attentively at the hollow of her throat would see her pulse beating: to tell the truth, it can be said that portrait was painted in a way that would cause every brave artist to tremble and fear, whoever he might be.” 

-Giogrio Vasari, Lives of the Artists (1550)

Leonardo da Vinci (ft Salaì and Vasari) facts:

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci:

- He was (probably) dyslexic. (He wrote his notes backwards - so you had to read from right to left, and use a mirror - which is often found in left-handed, dyslexic people. His spelling was also not that good, though that may be because he never went to a public school and was raised by his single father.)

- He, also, (probably) had ADHD. (He started projects and never finished them. Some of the things he did actually finish were incredibly details and precise, which may be due to hyperfocus. He may have found special intrests in these projects - See: flight - hence the strong focus on them.)

- He loved the concept of human flight. He spent years trying to create a machine for people to actually fly. He did actually create a flying machine, which the caption (which was written backwards, of couse), “A small model can be made of paper with a spring like metal shaft that after having been released, after having been twisted, causes the screw to spin up into the air.”

Apparently, many of his inventions were created again more recently and they didn’t work. I would not take this as fact as I need to check the source. It is just something I heard.

- There is a high chance he was gay. He never took any intrest in women; he was once charged for sodomy (though the charges were dropped, which may be because you needed strong evidence as it is a very serious crime. It was punishable by death). He, however, was very closed up when it came down to his sexual incounters, and Giorgio Vasari (someone who wrote a biography on Leonardo) did not mention his sexuality at all, which may be because he didn’t know. Honestly, I could talk for hours about his sexuality, debating it back and forth. There is no solid proof he was gay, but most historians accept it.

Salaì (aka Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno)

- He was Leonardo’s assistant, and joined Leonardo when we was ten years old. He was an artist too, and was one of Leonardo’s pupils.

- Salaì is actually a nickname given by leonardo! It translates into “little Devil”, which is due to his mischevious behaviour. (It also translates to ‘the little unclean one’ but I the former to be more accurate, though the later works too)

Let’s compare Leonardo’s description and Vasari’s description of Salaì:

Vasari described Salaì as “a graceful and beautiful youth with curly hair, in which Leonardo greatly delighted” and Leonardo described him as “a liar, a thief, stubborn and a glutton”  I really feel as if this helps yoy understand their perspective of him.

- Leonardo’s nickname for him probably started as Salaì stole from Leonardo on at least five occasions, and I heard he used to gamble a lot, too. Leonardo had to put up with him for 25+ years.

- Salaì was being trained as an artist and, though he wasn’t as impressive as Leonardo, most of his work was actually quite good. He painted a piece called the Monna Vanna - a nude version of the Mona Liza. I get slightly uncomfortable if I leave that paiting up in a different tab, though, as she has no clothes on and she stares at you with this really weird facial expresion.

Feel free to ask me more about these guys. I should be getting a few more books on them, and be able to answer your questions easier.