Da Vinci’s Magician

Posted on Feb 21, 2017 by Joey

Leonardo, and the First Book of Card Tricks…

Da Vinci’s Magician

Leonardo, and the First Book of Card Tricks…

It takes a lot to surprise me. Maybe that’s because I’ve been a magician for so long, or maybe it’s simply the way my brain works.

Last night, I received an email I knew instinctively was a fake. When I showed it to my family, they said they would have clicked through. The email was a beautiful, yet deceptive, ploy.

But here’s something that took me aback: Leonardo da Vinci’s best friend, one Luca Pacioli, authored a book on magic…card magic. This was five hundred years ago. His unpublished book was only recently uncovered.

In an article about Luca’s book, The Guardian says, “Tricks include how to write a sentence on the petals of a rose, wash your hands in molten lead and make an egg walk across a table…”

While it included a whole host of other effects, it is believed that this five hundred-year old book is the first ever printed reference to card magic. Knowledgeable experts say Leonardo himself helped write it. Of course, we’ll never know.

It is known, however, that Leonardo and Luca collaborated on a variety of projects throughout their lives - including at least one book.

And Luca Pacioli is not just some casual acquaintance of Leonardo da Vinci’s; it’s his best friend, his BFF, for crying out loud.

When I think of Leonardo da Vinci, I think genius; the drawing of a man with his arms spread (that’s now used for everything from deodorant ads to printer ink packaging), his flying helicopter, The Last Supper.

I do not think of card magic. Now, of course, I will.

Now, when I think of Leonardo da Vinci, my mind races to imagine him with Luca, sitting around performing card tricks. Man, that thought will forever be in my mind. And Luca – he must have been pretty darn good to be hanging with Leonardo.