Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mechanical lion on went on display recently at the Italian Cultural Institute in Paris for a month, in a tribute to the Renaissance master 500 years after his death.
The lion, which is 2m high by 3m long and made of wood with a metal mechanism, is a reconstruction based on a rudimentary sketch left by da Vinci. The original automaton, long since lost, was designed by da Vinci on a commission from Pope Leo X to amuse French king Francois I.
Da Vinci, who died in May 1519, had a legendary obsession with the flight of birds and how understanding the mechanism could lead to the creation of a human flying machine. – AFP