Leonardo Da Vinci Research Paper

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The Genius of the Renaissance
Famous figures are usually discussed in terms of perfection and flawlessness. That is how people first view Leonardo da Vinci. He was born in 1452, in the town of Vinci, Italy, and admittedly he was an extraordinary child, always fascinated with the scenery and objects around him. When he was around the age of twelve, his biological father sent da Vinci’s drawings to a famous Florentine painter and sculptor, Andrea del Verrocchio. He thought da Vinci’s drawings were very impressive and soon it was arranged for Leonardo da Vinci to become an apprentice. Under the care and teachings of Andrea del Verrocchio, da Vinci learned how to prepare wooden panels for painting, how to grind color by hand, how to make varnish for protecting finished paintings, and much more. As the years went by, da Vinci showed increasing mastery in the fields of science, engineering, and art. He thought up some of the greatest ideas that are still used today such as cars, submarines, helicopters, flying machines, which would not even have been invented for many more years. People wonder why da Vinci was not recognized as a great artist while he was alive. Unfortunately, Leonardo da Vinci had flaws, just like any other human being. He procrastinated on many of his assigned projects and was very disorganized. He died unhappy because he did not think anything was ever accomplished. He was given many opportunities to prove his genius, but he failed to complete most of his projects which kept him from being acknowledged as a mastermind while he was still alive. Even though Leonardo da Vinci portrayed many characteristics of a modern high school student such as disorganization, procrastination, and incompletion of many projects, the projects that were finished are looked upon as masterpieces of the Renaissance.

Leonardo da Vinci was a messy and disorganized child and a secretive young adult. Unfortunately, he did not change this habit as he grew older. When he was young, da Vinci collected things that interested him and kept them in his room. Consequently, his room was a messy jungle of animals and objects which he never allowed people to see, being afraid that they might disband his collections. As he grew older, da Vinci kept his notebooks close and continuously filled them with incredible and innovative ideas and drawings. Some of his entries were short jottings and improvements of his inventions but others were “lengthy and elaborate” entries that went into detail about his numerous projects (Pannapacker 4). Leonardo da Vinci had so many remarkable ideas and he was so “ahead of his time” it is almost impossible to believe he came up with those inventions (Pannapacker 1). Leonardo da Vinci returned to his notebooks intermittently, revising his thoughts and “adding drawings and textual elaborations” throughout his life (Pannapacker 4). Most of the additions he made were scribbles on the margins of his notebook. He was paranoid that someone would steal his ideas so da Vinci wrote his notebooks in code. One could only decipher his writings if he held the notebook upside down in front of a mirror. Being left handed, he also wrote from right to left. Even cryptographers have had a hard time trying to decode his notebooks seeing as they are so messy and crammed with information. Da Vinci kept his notebooks for at least thirty-five years and more than five thousand of his manuscripts have been recovered. Da Vinci’s intelligence and artistic skills were publicized only after his death when historians discovered his notebooks.

Historians describe Leonardo da Vinci as an inveterate procrastinator because he never started or finished projects on time. He seemed “endlessly distracted” by his notebooks and experiments because he understood the “fleeting quality of imagination” (Pannapacker 3). Leonardo da Vinci believed that if one did not get an insight down on paper and later develop it while the “excitement lasts” one is...
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