Leonardo Da Vinci




Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15,1452 in the village of Anchiano, close to the town of Vinci. His illegitimately father was Ser Piero, a notary a lawyer and Leonardo\'s mother was Caterina, a peasant girl (Costantino 9). Born during a time when it was possible to believe that man can do all things, and Leonardo proved the Renaissance correct. Around 1466 he occupied himself to the leading Florentine painter and sculptor, Andrea del Verrocchio, as a studio boy.
As a boy Leonardo had a fundamental understanding on how machines worked which introduced him to a great skill of reasoning. In the exploration to find the simple function of a machine he applied rules to improve or invent other machines (later in life) for other tasks that might be carried out. His unbelievable talent to manipulate simple machines surpassed normal men\'s intellect that they mistook it for magic (Cooper 15). He learned mathematics as a young boy, but amazingly he was bad at arithmetic. Found in some of his notes was an error in multiplying (8).
Many more areas of productive traits Leonardo excelled at, leading him to become a famous painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and scientist. His most recognizable talent that he is commonly remembered for is painting, which in where he mastered the two techniques of sfumato and chiaroscuro. Sfumato is the technique to transition color, into a smoky or hazy effect. Chiaroscuro is the mastery of shadows and shading (Encarta-96). He uses these techniques very well in his most famous painting, the "Mona Lisa". Combining science and techniques at times left his works into technical disaster, yet left the work itself marvellous. The best example for that was possibly Leonardo da Vinci\'s last piece, "The Last Supper" (Costantino 18). By his understanding and involvement of nature, Leonardo made art a science, by his inner sense of form and beauty, he made science an art.
More absorbent than a sponge he was, for he was always in the search for answers and he had asked himself questions that was never asked before. He cliched knowledge as the "mother of love" and impatience as the "mother of stupidity." (5) He explored vast varieties of subjects, including anatomy. This was his greatest difficulty though, the church considered the bodies of the dead as sacred and forbidden dissection. Leonardo spent most nights secretly dissecting humans in his home, but he couldn\'t continue and had to give up his pioneering work (8).
Leonardo also had great interest in guns, artillery, and lethal weapons. The powers and strengths was another subject worth studying, which he was more than just advanced at (Costantino 20). "He mastered the science of the past, improved both the practical and theoretical science of his own time, and, with his amazing intuition, foresaw many of the things possible in the future even up to the present day." (Cooper 18) The universal genus that was bestowed upon Leonardo da Vinci was observed around the late 1800\'s when he was praised and admired as the highest level of Renaissance man (Bacci 5).


"Sometimes the heavens endow a single individual with such beauty, grace and abilities that, whatever he does, he leaves all other men behind, thus demon- strating that his genius is a gift of God and not an acquirement of human art." (Mannering 6) Although most historians verify this quote to be quite acceptable, the manifestation of Leonardo\'s inclosed life was not mentioned. Leonardo was a man with beauty with an awkward twist, he was very contradicting and unusual to most of the things he did and accomplished during his life. "Here was a man, tall and wonderfully handsome, strong enough to bend a horse shoe with his hands and gentle enough to buy caged birds so that he could give them their freedom. A man whose skill as a painter seemed so miraculous to others, yet never perfect enough to please himself. He would begin huge projects like trying to change the course of a river, but he would leave many of them unfinished. He could speak of war as the most bestial madness, yet he could invent the most deadly weapons, perhaps hoping they would never be used. He refused to eat meat because he hated to