Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci represent two outstanding creative minds. Masters, geniuses, prolific renaissance men, they were also famous for abandoning their work, leaving supposed greater masterpieces unfinished. A pair of monumental frescos commissioned for the great hall of Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio are prime examples. Leonardo’s The Battle of Anghiari and Michelangelo’s Battle of Cascina were started in 1504 and abandoned a year later. They never completed the frescos.
Every writer, architect, painter, and entrepreneur experiences failure. Failing teaches us, even if the lesson is how not to create. The title Master implies we finish what we start. Finishing, calling a piece complete, might be more difficult than admitting defeat. Creating masterful art is not for mortals or weaklings. Anything crafted by humans will be flawed. Some critics argue flaws accentuate beauty. Flawless execution, whatever that is, they say leaves the viewer bored.
How do we decide were incomplete ends and masterful imperfection begins?…
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