Aidan Turner to return to our screens next month as Leonardo da Vinci
It’s been over a year since Aidan Turner’s brooding hero Captain Ross Poldark left our screens for good, following the fifth and final series of historical romance series Poldark. But if you have been suffering from a Turner-shaped hole in your life, fear no more: he’s set to return to the small screen next month.
The Irish heartthrob will be playing Leonardo da Vinci in a new series, Leonardo, coming to Amazon Prime about the Renaissance polymath’s life. Already airing in Italy, the series reportedly plays hard and fast with the truth, inventing a new muse and a murder accusation against the Italian genius.
Leonardo began filming in December 2019, but was postponed due to the pandemic. Its first two episodes have been popular with fans, but have been accused of historical inaccuracies by critics in Italy, some of whom have dubbed it a ‘pop history’ – much like with The Crown here in the UK.
Speaking to The Times, the producer of the series Luca Bernabei said: ‘I don’t agree with the term “pop” history. We have been really careful in our research, but this is not a documentary, we are not historians and this is not a university history lecture. We covered the empty space where Leonardo’s biographers didn’t know the story, otherwise it was impossible to recount this complex character.
‘The murder mystery was an opportunity to get into the mind of that character, to interest people who didn’t know about Leonardo. Matilda de Angelis’s character did exist. She was a model Leonardo asked to paint so maybe there was a relationship.
‘We got seven million viewers and it was a young audience so we have shown you can talk about history which is not Peaky Blinders or Vikings and still attract young viewers.’
Each episode focuses on a different one of Da Vinci’s famous paintings, which include Salvator Mundi and The Last Supper. As well as his skill as an artist, he was also known for his engineering prowess, creating flying machines and utilising solar power. His Vitruvian Man drawing influenced our understanding of the anatomy of the human body, while he is also credited with inventing the parachute, helicopter and more.
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