Aidan Turner Leonardo 2021.jpg
GenreHistorical drama
Created by
Directed byDan Percival
Alexis Sweet
ComposerJohn Paesano
Country of originItaly
United Kingdom
United States
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes8
Executive producers
Running time52 minutes
Production companiesLux Vide
Big Light Productions
Rai Fiction
Sony Pictures Television
France Télévisions
Alfresco Pictures
Original networkRai 1 and Rai 4K (Italy), VOX (Germany), The CW (United States), France 2 (France)
Picture format4K (Ultra HD)
Original release23 March 2021 (2021-03-23)[1] –

Leonardo is a historical drama created by Frank Spotnitz and Steve Thompson. The series was produced by Italian Lux Vide in collaboration with Rai Fiction, Sony Pictures Entertainment, with Frank Spotnitz's Big Light Productions and Freddie Highmore's Alfresco Pictures in association with France Télévisions and RTVE.[1]

The series recounts Leonardo da Vinci's extraordinary life through the works that made him famous and through the stories hidden within those works, revealing little by little the inner torments of a man obsessed with attaining perfection.

In March 2021, it was announced that Leonardo would return for a second season.[2]


In 1506, Leonardo da Vinci, the most famous artist of his time, is accused of the murder of Caterina da Cremona. Questioned by Stefano Giraldi, an ambitious officer of the Duchy of Milan, Leonardo begins to tell his life, starting from the first meeting with Caterina in Andrea del Verrocchio's workshop. Giraldi, fascinated by the artist's personality, begins to suspect that Leonardo may be innocent and investigates to discover the truth.





No.TitleDirected by [3]Written byOriginal air date [4]
1"Episode #1.1"Dan PercivalFrank Spotnitz, Steve ThompsonMarch 23, 2021 (2021-03-23)
Milan, 1506. Leonardo is arrested for poisoning Caterina de Cremona. After protesting his innocence to Stefano Giraldi, Leonardo remembers back to his days as an apprentice in Andrea del Verrocchio's studio, where he first meets Caterina.
2"Episode #1.2"Dan PercivalFrank Spotnitz, Steve ThompsonMarch 23, 2021 (2021-03-23)
With Leonardo's successes recognised and his reputation growing, a risky decision sets to destroy everything he has worked for. Leonardo receives support through new commissions (the Portrait of Ginevra de Benci and The Adoration of the Magi), but pays the price for his actions.
3"Episode #1.3"Dan PercivalGabbie AsherMarch 30, 2021 (2021-03-30)
Leonardo ventures to Milan with a determination to claim an offer of patronage from the Duke Regent, Ludovico Sforza. When the reality of the situation turns out to be less appealing and he is assigned to produce a big theatrical entertainment instead of a painting, a newfound relationship helps liberate Leonardo's imagination.
4"Episode #1.4"Dan PercivalFrank Spotnitz, Steve ThompsonMarch 30, 2021 (2021-03-30)
When Ludovico asks Leonardo to create a sculpture in honour of his father, Leonardo's ambitions rise as he tries to outperform. During the work, Leonardo finds himself in Gian Galeazzo Sforza, the young duke of Milan and puts trust in an unexpected source, Salaì, a resourceful thief. As he gets distracted from Caterina, Leonardo ends up in a race against time with a costly decision to make.
5"Episode #1.5"Alexis SweetFrank Spotnitz, Steve ThompsonApril 6, 2021 (2021-04-06)
After the death of Ludovico's wife, he is given a new art commission but struggles with inner turmoil. After reflecting on wise words from Father Luca Pacioli, Leonardo seeks assistance from friends and presses on with the work, despite tensions in the city. Putting his creativity to the test and experimenting with a new technique, he must deal with the consequences of his actions and results.
6"Episode #1.6"Alexis SweetFrank Spotnitz, Steve ThompsonApril 6, 2021 (2021-04-06)
Returning to Florence, an uninspired Leonardo accepts to paint the portrait of Lisa Gherardini, that will become the Mona Lisa. After failing to repair his relationship with Caterina, Leonardo goes to Imola, where he receives much praise from his employer, Cesare Borgia.
7"Episode #1.7"Dan PercivalFrank Spotnitz, Steve ThompsonApril 13, 2021 (2021-04-13)
Reunited with Caterina, Leonardo perseveres with his work but is frustrated by the growing success of a younger artist, Michelangelo. Putting his feelings aside, Leonardo is persuaded to accept a new commission, a giant fresco of the Battle of Anghiari, but faces competition from his newfound rival.
8"Episode #1.8"Dan PercivalFrank Spotnitz, Steve ThompsonApril 13, 2021 (2021-04-13)
Time is short as Stefano races to save Leonardo and uncovers his secret. With facts and no evidence, an epiphany leads Stefano going to a remote source for help. As the execution nears, Leonardo's life hangs by a thread. His guilt is upheld, and hope seems lost. Holding the fate of Milan's greatest artist in his hands, Stefano realises the answer he seeks lies in the man he is striving to save.


The series premiered on March 23, 2021 on Rai 1.[5] In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the series aired on Amazon Prime Video, premiering April 16, 2021.[6] In India, the series premiered on SonyLIV on April 9, 2021.[7] It aired in Canada on April 15 on Telus, while in Spain, on June 3, on RTVE. In the United States, The CW picked up the series, and has set it to premiere on August 16, 2022 as part of the 2021-22 television season.[8]

Historical inaccuracies

The producers openly declared that they had purposely moved away from historical reality to insert elements of fantasy, such as the story relating to the murder accusation of Leonardo and the character of Caterina da Cremona. Among the alterations to real events are:[9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

Episodes 1 and 2

Episodes 3 and 4

Episodes 5 and 6

Episodes 7 and 8

Other historical liberties

See also


  1. ^ a b "'Leonardo', arriva sul piccolo schermo la vita del geniale inventore toscano" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 24 February 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Leonardo series debuts on Amazon Prime as producers confirm second season". 16 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Leonardo". Lux Vide Productions. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Leonardo – Listings". Next Episode. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  5. ^ Perugini, Sergio (27 March 2021). "Miniserie e prime visioni, cosa guardare in streaming in tv". Corriere Cesenate.
  6. ^ Craig, David (15 March 2021). "Leonardo release date: Latest news on Aidan Turner's da Vinci drama". Radio Times. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  7. ^ "Leonardo review: SonyLIV series offers in-depth study on life and times of the historic Renaissance artist - Entertainment News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 9 April 2021. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  8. ^ White, Peter (19 October 2021). "Aidan Turner Italian Series 'Leonardo' & Australian Comedy Drama 'Bump' Land At The CW". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  9. ^ ""Leonardo" (2021): fake news o lecita finzione?". Questione Civile.
  10. ^ "Gli errori nella serie "Leonardo": dai personaggi agli eventi realmente accaduti". Meteoweek.
  11. ^ "Leonardo, la serie tv più attesa e ridicola dell'anno". Spettacoli.
  12. ^ "Leonardo, tra fantasia e realtà storica".
  13. ^ "Leonardo da Vinci, realtà e finzione nella serie tv".
  14. ^ "Leonardo da Vinci offeso dalla fiction".
  15. ^ "Leonardo, le incongruenze della serie tv con la realtà: i 10 elementi romanzati che non avete notato".
  16. ^ Anonimo Gaddiano
  17. ^ Codex Atlanticus, c 270 r.
  18. ^ BENCI, Amerigo on Treccani.
  19. ^ BENCI, Ginevra on Treccani.
  20. ^ Codex Atlanticus, c 61 r.
  21. ^ a b BEMBO, Bernardo on Treccani.
  22. ^ a b c d Francesco Malaguzzi Valeri, La corte di Lodovico il Moro, la vita privata e l'arte a Milano nella seconda metà del quattrocento.
  23. ^ Francesco Malaguzzi Valeri (1913). La corte di Lodovico il Moro, la vita privata e l'arte a Milano nella seconda metà del quattrocento. p. 85.
  24. ^ CAPROTTI, Gian Giacomo de', detto Salaj on Treccani.
  25. ^ Julia Cartwright, Beatrice d'Este duchessa di Milano.
  26. ^ Luisa Giordano, Beatrice d'Este (1475-1497).
  27. ^ Bernardino Baldi da Urbino, Della vita e de' fatti di Guidobaldo I da Montefeltro duca d'Urbino.