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Leonardo review – an insipid portrait of Da Vinci painted by numbers

Even an intense, smock-wearing Aidan Turner can’t salvage Amazon Prime’s cringe-inducing, broad-brush portrait of the Renaissance icon

Well, we all deserve a laugh right now, don’t we? So without further ado let me introduce you to Leonardo, the latest offering from Amazon Prime, which is terrible. It centres on Aidan “Poldark” Turner in another smock. He plays Leonardo da Vinci who was – have you heard? – a famous artist in Italy in the olden days. Thus, at Maestro Verrocchio’s School of Renaissance Painting ‘n’ That (“Maestro” being Italian for “Older painter about to be handed his testicoli by a student genius”) he can often be found gazing intently – more intently than all the other pupils – at canvases, tableaux and the scars on models’ backs.

One model’s scarred back in particular: that of the lowborn Caterina da Cremona (Matilda de Angelis, last seen delivering a similarly inert performance as Doomed Adulteree in The Undoing). She becomes his beloved muse, and the series is framed by Leonardo’s arrest and languishment in prison for her murder. This is a bad thing for the Vinch, obvs, but a good thing for Aidan Turner fans because it turns out you couldn’t get a haircut in late-medieval prison, even in a country known to prioritise male grooming.

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