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New Series on Leonardo da Vinci Will Portray the Artist As a ‘Gay Outsider’

Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, Gay, Gay Outsider

So goes the life of a queer genius.

Life wasn't always easy for Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci. Before the world fell in love with the Mona Lisa or venerated the artist for a mind ahead of his time, da Vinci faced social adversity that multiple factors of his life contributed to.

Showrunner Frank Spotnitz (The Man in the High Castle) and writer Steve Thompson (Sherlock) are teaming up for Italy's RAI and Lux Vide to create Leonardo, and English-language series that will explore the life of the artist and depict him as a "gay outsider" according to Variety.

Related | Is the Mona Lisa Based on Da Vinci's Gay Lover?

"He was a real outsider for those times. He was an illegitimate child, gay, vegetarian and left-handed," said RAI Head of Drama Eleonora Andreatta, describing him in a similar way as Walter Isaacson in his new biography Leonardo da Vinci.

The eight-part series is slated to be released next year to coincide with the 500-year anniversary of da Vinci's death and will be told through the eyes of "a girl called Caterina, who was one of his models" and "will allow us to get inside his soul and his secrets," said Andreatta. One of da Vinci's masterful works will be at the center of each episode, but the "personal and adventurous" aspects of his life will shine brighter than the artistic ones.

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Dennis Hinzmann