Deflating da Vinci

After 20 years of meticulous restoration, Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper is finally to be shown to the public. Though only a few pieces of da Vinci’s work remain, he is widely thought to be one of the two or three greatest artists of the Renaissance. But what sets him apart from Michelangelo and Raphael, at least in the popular imagination, is that he was also a brilliant scientist. Jim Holt thinks this is a misconception, as he explains in this 1996 Slate essay.