Leonardo da Vinci
| Leonardo da Vinci was inarguably a great mind of the Renaissance, a period of European civilisation where revival of classical learning and wisdom took place after a long period of cultural decline and stagnation. He was an Italian painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, and engineer whose talents reflected the diversity of achievements of the Italian Renaissance. With his outstanding versatility, Leonardo has often been described as a universal genius of the Renaissance, the fame that has remained undimmed as a result of his great desire for knowledge. His Last Supper and Mona Lisa are among the most widely popular and influential paintings of the Renaissance, and they gained worldwide fame only after his death. However, he was far from prolific, as only 17 of his paintings, many of which remained unfinished, have been identified. In addition to art, Leonardo studied a wide range of scientific topics including anatomy, geology, botany, hydraulics and aerodynamics. His science was expressed through art, and his drawings and diagrammes show how he understood the world. Leonardo used an observational approach to study science. In this approach, he considered his eyes to be his main avenue to knowledge, and sight alone could convey the facts of experience immediately and correctly. Leonardo also considered a painter as the person best qualified to achieve true knowledge because he could closely observe, understand and then carefully reproduce the world around him through art. Leonardo once said, “Whatever exists in the universe, a painter has first in his mind and then in his hands.” In addition to Leonardo’s unique approach and concept, his superb intellect and mastery of the art of drawing to study nature itself allowed his dual pursuits of art and science to develop.
Leonardo’s scientific and technical observations are found in his handwritten notebooks or manuscripts, the greatest literary legacy he left to...
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