‘NOVA: Decoding Da Vinci’ Will Appeal To Students, Lovers Of Art, Anatomical Sciences

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/WGBH

It goes without saying that Leonardo da Vinci is one of the greatest minds of his time and possibly of all time.  His paintings , few as they are, continue to evoke discussion and great emotion from people from around the world.  His scientific advancements were centuries before his time, showing even more, his incredible mind.  Now in a new episode of its hit science based series NOVA, titled Decodind Da Vinci, PBS examines how da Vinci’s interest in science and art played directly into one another, leading to what are some of the greatest paintings of all time.  That story in itself is more than enough reason for audiences to view this episode of NOVA.  While the program ensures viewers’ engagement an entertainment, hindsight in watching the program makes the show’s title slightly problematic.  This will be addressed a little later.  Even with that problematic titling, the DVD is still worth the purchase, considering its average price point, which will also be discussed later.  Each item noted plays its own important part to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, Decoding Da Vinci becomes a presentation that will appeal to art and science students and lovers alike.

NOVA: Decoding Da Vinci, another recent episode from PBS’ hit science-based series, is an interesting presentation.  It is a work that will appeal to those with an interest in and knowledge of art and science alike.  That is due in large part to the program’s overall story.  The story in question shows how Leonardo da Vinci’s interest in art and science intersected and the role that his scientific mind played into his artistic vision.  It is not an overly broad presentation, either.  It especially focuses on the connection between da Vinci’s interest in science and how it played into his most famous painting, “The Mona Lisa.”  Along the way, the program takes audiences into da Vinci’s study of human anatomy in relation to his art while exhibiting anatomical drawings that da Vinci created and their influence even today on biologists and scientists who study anatomy and anatomical science.  One of those individuals praises da Vinci for some of his drawings while also candidly saying his drawing of the female reproductive system was quite off.  That moment with bring laughter from any viewer.  That is the case due to the revelation of why he made the drawing in the fashion in which he did.

In coordination with the discussion on da Vinci’s art, the program also takes time to examine his specific painting style and uses that discussion in the examination of the painting of Bacchus.  It has long been believed that the painting is one of da Vinci’s, but the examination of his painting style reveals that the artwork may well in fact not be one of his works.  That revelation is tied back to da Vinci’s focus on human anatomy, too.  Between this discussion, that of his interest in science, and how the two topics correlate (and even the paints that he used) make for a fully engaging presentation.  While the overall presentation of Decoding Da Vinci will keep viewers engaged throughout its 53-minute run time, the story featured therein does not fully work with the episode’s title.

The very title Decoding Da Vinci hints at mystery and some kind of unknown about Leonardo da Vinci.  That very word “decoding” means uncovering something unknown.  However, there is no real mystery or unknown information per se here.  The closest that the program comes to any mystery is the discussion on whether the painting of Bacchus is one of his works.  The discussion on the ties between da Vinci’s scientific and artistic interests is more lecture than mystery.  Keeping that in mind, the title is problematic in this case, but it does not make the episode unwatchable by any means.  It is just something is in need of some attention.

Taking into consideration the depth and breadth of information shared through Decoding Da Vinci’s story, it makes the DVD’s average price point an item that will appeal just as much to audiences as the DVD’s content.  The average price point for NOVA: Decoding Da Vinci is $19.35.  That price, which once again is below the $20 mark, is obtained by averaging prices at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ online store.  Once more, the only price listings that exceed that point are from Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million.  Their price listings for the DVD are $22.74 and $24.99 respectively.  Meanwhile, the lowest and most common listing of $16.59 comes from Amazon, Walmart and Target.  Best Buy’s listing for the DVD is $17.99 while PBS’ listing is $19.99.  So, while PBS’ price point is once again above the average price point for one of its DVDs, that exception is still only barely above the line.  Making exception for the two outstandingly overpriced listings at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million, the rest of the listings are largely either below the DVD’s average price point or right at that point.  In other words, the DVD’s cost will not break any viewer’s budget.  It’s another positive for this episode of NOVA in its home release.  When considered along with the DVD’s content, the DVD in whole proves to be another positive offering from PBS and PBS Distribution.

PBS Distribution’s home release of NOVA: Decoding Da Vinci is an episode of NOVA that will appeal to audiences.  That is due in part to the DVD’s central story, which examines the connection between Leonard da Vinci’s scientific mind and his artistic mind.  On the surface, that connection seems simple, but as this story shows, the connection is quite deep.  Considering the depth and breadth of that content, the DVD’s average price point serves as its own motivation, by connection.  The only negative to the DVD’s presentation is its title, and even there, that negative is not enough to make the DVD unwatchable.  Keeping all of this in mind, NOVA: Decoding Da Vinci proves itself another example of what makes NOVA such a respected and popular series.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:






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