Elon Musk at the Uffizi Gallery: The Last Polymath

art Elon Musk

The last polymath

Elon Musk and family Elon Musk and family

Elon Musk with his family in the Uffizi

Source: dpa-infocom GmbH

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Elon Musk visits the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The museum proudly publishes a snapshot of the visit. It shows: a Renaissance man, the goddess of beauty, Italian vs. Californian chic and a construction box tie. A picture viewing.

In the Anglo-Saxon tradition, the polymath is called “Renaissance Man”. Leon Battista Alberti (1404โ€“1472), who worked among other things as an author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher and cryptographer, or Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646โ€“1716) are often named as exemplary individuals. Although Leibniz was a bit late for the Renaissance, his talents don’t fit into any subordinate clause.

Born in Leipzig, he excelled as a mathematician, philosopher, diplomat and also emerged as an author of epoch-making studies in the subjects of theology, ethics, politics, law, history and philology. Up to the present day he is the key word for disciplines such as probability theory, biology, medicine, geology, psychology, linguistics and computer science.

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Since then, such jack-of-all-trades have largely died out. No wonder that one of the rare specimens that can be spotted in our highly specialized present has now moved to the Florentine Uffizi, just as an elephant might drop by on its wanderings at the elephant cemetery to visit its faded relatives. On his trip to Europe, the PayPal founder, electromobility guru, traffic turnaround accelerator and undoubtedly soon-to-be Mars scout Elon Musk purposefully headed for the famous museum.

To give the public an impression of this, the Uffizi published a snapshot. For the opportunity to show Leonardo da Vinci from Silicon Valley through the halls, director Eike Schmidt chose his most beautiful construction box tie, perhaps to suggest that he too is thinking outside the box guess. The photo shows Musk plus entourage, underneath, in the gray top, apparently one of his sons, who seems to be cut out of his face. The formal elegance of the Italians meets the Casual Chic the Californian. Unfortunately, the museum did not include a legend for the picture, so that the identities of most of the portrayed must remain the subject of speculation.

Elon Musk and family

Where did Grimes (in white) hide her foot? Elon Musk with family at the Uffizi. Museum director Eike Schmidt (2nd from left) donated a private tour

Source: dpa-infocom GmbH

Next to Elon Musk – in a dark space shirt – it’s easy to see his girlfriend, the pop singer Grimes. Although fully clothed, she appears almost naked in her flowing white dress under all the dark figures. And although her hair is pink, she conspicuously reflects the Venus of Botticelli, which is just a meter and a half further up, as it has been for centuries, rising from a shell. Grimes’ left arm rests close to the body in the same gesture as that of the goddess of beauty.

Only what she does with her right foot remains her secret. Did she prop him against the back wall? Is she kicking? Does she balance on one leg? In any case, the foot is missing in the picture. Or is it an optical illusion, a tilted image in which the brain plays tricks on us? At second glance, a piece of her pant leg turns into the missing shoe – a real trompe-l’oeil, worthy of the Renaissance.

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