83. Leonardo Da Vinci And Ginevra de’ Benci


Art…Leonardo Da Vinci And Ginevra de’ Benci


In the last column we talked about The Borgias and Borgia, two shows with 16th Century Renaissance themes. Classes are ready to take their ‘end of the year’ class trips to Washington. The National Gallery of Art and its “multiple buildings of amazing” have to be a stop on any trip to Washington, D.C.

The National Gallery’s museums are now showing Albrecht Durer, Small Impressionist Art, Russian Art/Music, and their normal extensive collections. Our top suggestion is to see the two sides of one of a kind Leonardo Da Vinci painting called the Ginerva de’ Benci. This painting has to be researched and has to be seen.


Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452. There isn’t much information about the first 22 years of his life on any Internet research stop. Leonardo da Vinci painted Ginevra de’ Benci, a young 16 year old Florentine noblewoman circa 1474. She was about to marry Luigi Niccolini and it is uncertain who commissioned the painting.

This seems to be one of Da Vinci’s first recorded works and it is a gem. The painting is an oil on panel. The work was purchased for the National Gallery of Art by the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund. Research says Generva is missing a six-inch piece at the bottom of the painting that may have been the subject’s folded hands.


Ginevra de’ Benci is the only Da Vinci painting in North America. The painting is one of only four female portraits painted by Leonardo. Cecilia Gallerani, the Mona Lisa, and La belle ferronnière round out the four.

Leonardo Da Vinci titled the Ginevra painting “Beauty Adorns Virtue.”

Karen, our local art historian, says the three Da Vinci paintings in the Louvre are better. She claims they have three that were worthy of viewing… Mona Lisa, St. John the Baptist, and the Virgin and Child with St. Anne.

Da Vinci 4
She says her personal favorite is at the Galleria Nationale in Parma…”La Scapigliata.”


Movies…Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor

Temptation, the movie and play, written and directed by Tyler Perry stars Vanessa Williams (Janice) as the owner of an upscale dating agency. She brings young women into her agency and grooms them in manners, dress, visual appeal, and likability. Her “help these girls with fashion” room is ‘to die for’ as she dresses her charges for dating success.

The rich men that are selected for matches for these girls are sorted by a written test in a shortcut not seen on The Dating Game. Getting paid by both of these groups is a very lucrative business for Janice’s firm. The firm is housed in offices quietly saying wealth from her past successes.


The main character in the story is the young girl (Judith) played by a newcomer to movies, Jurnee Smollett Bell. Judith designs the forms given to the men to see if they are suitable matches for Janice’s girls. Robbie Jones (Harley), a billionaire, wants to take Janice and Judith into his high technology Facebook like business. He is loaded and presents one of the principle questions in the movie. Judith has been married to Brice (Lance Gross) for six years. They have been together since age six.


Is the grass greener on the other side is a central theme throughout the movie? What loving husband can compete against what a billionaire has to offer? Or should he have to compete? Dating compatibility and whether a computer or printout can tell you the person that is right for you dots this movie’s landscape. 40% of those now dating ‘met on the Internet’ was a movie fact voiced in Temptation. These figures will have to be confirmed somewhere else at a later time.


Kim Kardashian has a small role as one of the director’s in the date office. She is “Kim Kardashian” in the movie in dress and manner. The movie has characters you will like and those you will not. You will discuss its message at dinner or on the way home after the movie.

Movies II…Top Grossing Movies of 2013

Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor has made over $51,000,000 for the Tyler Perry franchise. Fifteen is its rank on this year’s movie gross list. It is Perry’s first sex themed movie and hasn’t drawn the numbers his comedies have. In comparison, The Great Gatsby took in $51, 000,000 this weekend. It exceeded all expectations as it competed against Iron Man 3’s second week’s gross of $72,000,000.


Movies III…Top Grossing Movies Of All Time





Gone with the Wind








Star Wars








The Sound of Music




E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial




The Ten Commandments




Doctor Zhivago








Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs





Birthdays…Happy Birthday Stevie Wonder, Age 63

We played your big three to commemorate your 63 birthday. Forget about Cherie Amour, Just Called To Say I Am Sorry, and Sunshine Of My Life.
Our choices were:
You and I…because as you sang…we as a couple can conquer the world…and the ballet video to accompany the song was a great visual.
From The Bottom Of My Heart…It is your best harmonica solo and from the bottom of your heart you love her.
Knocks Me Off My Feet…A great love ballad about a troubled soul.


Birthdays…Happy Birthday Spiderman, Age 50

We won’t be playing any songs from your movies. We will try to duplicate your upside down kiss with Kirsten Dunst that injured so many who tried it after seeing it in your movie. Wish us luck!


Writing…Jane Yolen…America’s Hans Christian Anderson

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night

By Jane Yolen and Mark Teague


Jane Yolen challenges your critical thinking at all levels. Before beginning this lower grade dinosaur story using poetry as the driving force, brainstorm some things a dinosaur might do before going to sleep. This book is one of ten books in the dinosaur series that will make every student laugh, think, and come up with interesting situations and stories where the student can insert their favorite pet or animal. Please visit Jane Yolen’s website at www.janeyolen.com to view some of the three hundred books she has written. You will see from her variety of subjects why she is called, “The American Hans Christian Anderson”.


New Visitor’s Greeting…Welcome to Let’s Talk, a freewheeling column on movies, theater, television, books, educational practices, the arts, current events, and the Internet. If you are a first time visitor to the column, I recommend that you start with the About topic in the Index Bar at the top of the page. Follow About with the Let’s Talk column in archives. It was the first column of the New Year. Proceed to Let’s Talk II and then work your way up to today’s column. These columns will introduce a plethora (a better word choice than myriad) of new ideas and old delights you may have missed. It will give you a strong foundation for some of the issues we are introducing and following up in newer columns.

Column Ender

New visitor’s comments are welcome, too. They are immediately placed on this page in the contributor’s comment section or are shared with the column’s readers on Sunday. You are welcome, also, to suggest topics for discussion or enlist help from the site’s family of readers. I am a compendium of useless information. Challenge me, please, with great theater, travel, history, books, movies, and educational issues that would interest a wide audience of readers. The “compendium comment” was stolen from Orson Bean. Bean used the quote many times on television talk show interviews. Please recommend my column to your friends and other lovers of discussion.


About tjpalumbo

Tom Palumbo is a nationally known and award winning author, teacher, technology designer, administrator, and grant writer. He has taught for thirty-five years in preschool through 12th grade classrooms throughout the quad state area. His ideas have made a difference in the way thousands of teachers, parents, and children read, write, do mathematics, use technology, and think creatively and critically. Tom’s twenty books on reading, writing, critical thinking, and mathematics have won four national book awards. 5,000 teachers and home schooling parents have matriculated through his graduate courses/lectures. 12,000 have signed up for his website. As Director of Pennsylvania’s Parent Information Center and New Jersey’s Citizen’s For Better Schools Resource Center, Tom received over two hundred commendations for his presentations to thousands of teachers, parents, and administrators throughout the Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland area. Workshop participants receive idea loaded CD’s, access to hundreds of videos, PowerPoints, curriculum links, games, and lessons on his website, and an activity booklet filled with common core curriculum in line with local, state, and national standards. Instruction, on each of these resources, is presented during his presentation. Mr. Palumbo has over two hundred learning centers, bulletin boards, and project developers in reading, writing, poetry, literature, and math in make-it/take it item format that can, also, be part of any workshop program. Call or email Tom to set up a workshop for your organization. Tom Palumbo tjpalumbo@aol.com 215-262-9986 aimtjp.wikispaces.com
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