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Leonardo da Vinci, was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. He is considered one of the most brilliant minds the world has ever known. His visions and deeds were far beyond of those of men in his time and most of our technology can be credited to him; he is known as a universal genius. Here we have a few things you should know about this genius:
- Even though he is more commonly know as just Leonardo da Vinci, his full name is Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci.
- Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 Vinci, Republic of Florence present-day Italy, and he died on May 2, 1519 aged 67 in
Amboise, Kingdom of France.
- Even thought he was an inventor way ahead of his time, Leonardo da Vinci was and is, renowned primarily as a painter.
- Leonardo’s most famous painting of the 1490’s is considered to be the The Last Supper; many claim that there are hidden meanings inside this painting. It is also considered the most reproduced religious painting of all time.
- Leonardo’s earliest known drawing is believed to be the Arno Valley, 1473.
- One of his most famous drawings is perhaps that of the Vitruvian Man which is also regarded as a cultural icon used in literature, coins and merchandise. The drawing of the Vitruvian Man and text that accompanies it are sometimes referred to as the Canon of Proportions or, Proportions of Man.
- Even though he invented numerous utilities and machines some of the most important inventions were the flying machines, armored vehicle, concentrated solar power, an adding machine.
- He made important discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics but for some reason never decided to publish his papers.
- The Annunciation is one of Leonardo’s most mysterious paintings, even though he did not start it, Leonardo finished the painting. The mysterious part is attributed to the fact that when analyzed under x-rays, the Angel that Leonardo painted becomes… invisible.
- Few people know that Leonardo has a “gap” in his life; between 1476 to 1478; when he was just beginning to come into prominence, Leonardo da Vinci vanished without a trace, no one knows about his whereabouts during that time.
- After returning from his mystery trip; Leonardo produced aerial maps of Italian cities with an incredible accuracy.
- It was after this time when he designed the first self-propelled vehicle.
- From 1513 to 1516 Leonardo began performing an act that– during the time– was a crime punishable by death: the dissection of human corpses, and he did that in the Vatican. The Vatican had these great catacombic depths, they were very cool places, and he took advantage on that and knew that it would be an ideal place to dissect a body without losing it to decomposition.
- It is known that a number of autopsies were performed in the Vatican and under the nose of the Pope; the irony right?
- He was smart, ahead of his time. In the 36 months that Leonardo da Vinci spent at the Vatican, he documented dozens of dissections with incredible detail, but in order to keep his work secret, his notes on human anatomy were recorded in code, using mirror writing. Click here if you want to see how mirror writing works.
- He was obsessed with the Mona Lisa painting. He spent over 16 years working on the smallest details of this relatively small portrait of, what is thought to be Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo.
- Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Arundel can be found in the British Library.
- Leonardo rarely wrote about his personal life. Leonardo da vinci recorded only two childhood incidents; when a kite dropped from the sky and hovered over his cradle, its tail feathers brushing his face and while he was exploring in the mountains: he discovered a cave and was both terrified that some great monster might lurk there.
- Leonardo da Vinci was left handed,that created a problem when it comes to writing back then as the hand crossed the page it would smudge the still wet text.
- Leonardo basically invented the modern day weaponry that our military uses today.
- It is no surprise that Leonardo had incredible drawings of machines capable of flight since, for much of his life, da Vinci was fascinated by the phenomenon of flight, producing many studies of the flight of birds, including his c. 1505 Codex on the Flight of Birds.
- Even though Leonardo da Vinci drew the parachute he did not invent it as the oldest parachute design actually appears in an anonymous manuscript that dates to the 1470s in Renaissance Italy.
- Leonardo managed to make over 240 detailed drawings and wrote about 13,000 words towards a treatise on anatomy. This was mostly thanks to formal training in the anatomy of the human body while he was an apprentice to Andrea del Verrocchio.
- Leonardo da Vinci created the first mechanical robot(s); he constructed the Mechanical knight and the mechanical lion.
- Leonardo da Vinci invented the firs system of moveable barricades to protect a city from attack.
Some of thw work of Leonardo da Vinci:
Image Credit: Wikipedia /Wikimedia Commons.