Leonardo Da Vinci Copyrighted image Credit: Production team

Creator of some of the greatest works of art in human history, but at the same time barely able to finish them, Leonardo is possibly the most easily distracted genius who ever lived. Mark Steel gets close to some of Leonardo’s greatest works, and finds out what The Last Supper has in common with EastEnders.

Packing in not just a life of Leonardo but also a brief canter through the political geography and the latest technological advances of the world he was born into, Mark begins by exploring the standards of great art and great beauty as they were before Leonardo truly made his mark. Then it’s a whistlestop tour round Italy as Leonardo builds a reputation both for genius and not doing what he’s paid for.

For this episode, Mark travelled for filming on location in Milan, Florence, and Paris.

First broadcast: Tuesday 7 Oct 2003 on BBC Four