Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.
Rakewell is thrilled to hear that Leonardo DiCaprio is to play Leonardo Da Vinci in a biopic based on Walter Isaacson’s upcoming biography of the Renaissance polymath. Even better: Vanity Fair reports that DiCaprio is in fact named after the subject of his new role. His mother apparently settled on the name when she was pregnant and felt the unborn Leo kick when she was looking at a painting by Leonardo in the Uffizi.
As he prepares to take on the role he was, it now seems, born to play, the Di Caprio may wish to look at some past performances – and escape the shadow Titanic’s Jack Dawson, drawer of French girls. He is not the first thesp to face the daunting task of portraying the great artist. Mark Rylance has had a go, as has Lord of the Rings actor John Rhys-Davies (as, er, a hologram in Star Trek Voyager), and, perhaps most memorably of all, Maurice LaMarche was the voice of Leonardo in the 2010 Futurama episode The Duh-Vinci Code.