What is the history behind the perplexed Leonardo image?


I have used the image of the ‘Leonardo in the walled garden’ for this blog from its inception.

The perplexed Leonardo in a walled garden – symbolizes everything this blog is all about

Originally, the image was meant to be used on the cover of my first book OpenGardens, but for various reasons, we did not end up using it

The Leonardo represents garage/grassroots developers i.e. the people who have the talent and the courage to create new vistas (applications). However, the Mobile data industry, as I understood it then, (and to a large extent even now) .. is not an optimal place for the innovator due to its fragmented, proprietary standards and walled gardens approach.

Hence, the perplexed Leonardo .. painting his Mona Lisa within the confines of a walled garden.

On a more serious note, that’s the reason why this blog advocates open standards, non proprietary technologies and the ethos of the web(and will continue to do so!).

It has been a lonely voice for a while but today as we see greater amalgamation between the web and the mobile web, I look forward to the day when I think up of a new cartoon.

The image was drawn up by the talented Amanda Vlahakis who captured just the sentiments in my mind through this lovely animation


  1. Ajit, I believe that many of us ‘bloggers’ feel this way. Many of us use blogs even to shout from our walled garden. How to break the chain and unleash the true power of the digital mobile lifestyle.
    It is probably the handset manufacturer which needs to work hard to help us realize this.
    Just hope they don’t overplay their power in the value chain…