Leonardo Da Vinci was born on April 14, 1452 to the 25 year old notary Ser Piero and a peasant girl as an illegitimate son in the village of Anchiano near the town of Vinci, Italy. At the age of 15, Da Vinci was sent by his father to learn at the workshop from the artist Andrea Del Verrocchio. While being an apprentice to Verrocchio, Da Vinci was commissioned to paint the angel in Verrocchio’s painting Baptism of Christ. After Da Vinci completed painting the angel, Verrocchio vowed to never paint again due to the fact that he thought Da Vinci’s angel was better than his own. Da Vinci stayed in Verrocchio’s workshop until 1477. In 1482, Da Vinci entered the service of the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza as a war engineer, even though he hated war. After Sforza’s fall from power in 1499, Da Vinci was left in search of employment. During the next 16 years, Da Vinci worked and traveled throughout Italy for a number of employers including Cesare Borgia. While in the service of Cesare Borgia from 1502 to 1503, Da Vinci worked as a military architect and engineer, designing war machines. From 1513 to 1516, Da Vinci worked for Pope Leo X doing a variety of projects. In 1516 Da Vinci was given the title Premier Painter, Engineer and Architect of the King by Francis I in France. In 1519, Da Vinci’s father died, but his inheritance was taken by Da Vinci’s stepbrothers and stepsisters. After suffering paralysis in his right hand by a supposed stroke in 1517, Da Vinci died on May 5, 1519. While in the service of the Duke of Milan, Da Vinci painted The Virgin of the Rocks in 1483 and Lady with an Ermine in 1485. In 1495, Da Vinci began painting The Last Supper that was completed in 1498. The Last Supper known as the most renowned paintings in the High Renaissance was painted at the end wall in the monastery Santa Maria delle Grazi. Instead of painting on wet plaster Da Vinci painted on a dry wall which caused the painting to deteriorate rapidly causing multiple restorations having to be done either by himself or by his predecessors. The Last Supper is remarkable for the disciples human and identiable emotions. In Da Vinci’s journals he drew the disciples faces multiple times until he could get it the way he believed the disciples emotions would be when Jesus announce that one would betray Him. In 1500, with the help of Saint Anne, Da Vinci started painting The Virgin and the Child which he finished 10 years later. One of his most famous paintings was the Mona Lisa which was presumed to be painted around 1503 in Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa has no clear origin some scholars believe Da Vinci was hired by Francesco del Giocondo to paint a portrait of his wife which is why it is sometimes referred to as the La Giocondo. Due to the painting be popular scholars believe Da Vinci sold the painting to the King of France. After the revolution the painting was in the hands of Napolean using it to decorate his bedroom. After Napolean the painting was supposedly stolen and transferred different hands until it was put on display and now tours the world. Da Vinci’s inventions were far ahead of their time, and nothing like them had been thought of before. His unique research covered various fields when most scientists focused on one field. Da Vinci’s areas of study included, but are not limited to flying machines, architecture, human anatomy, and various combat devices. His most famous invention, was a flying machine that worked similar to a helicopter and resembled an Archimedes screwpump. The Archimedes screwpump was used for transferring water in Da Vinci’s time period. Da Vinci was the first known person to attempt inventing a flying machine far before the Wright brothers. How Da Vinci created this ingenious idea is not certain, but some speculate he may have come in contact with a Chinese top in his travels of Italy due to the fact that Da Vinci’s model is similar to the Chinese toy. Although Da Vinci’s model was not built and tested, he mapped out exactly how the device would operate. Da Vinci’s model was used for the first successful helicopter which was created by Igor Sikorsky in 1940. Sebastian Lenormand was credited with the inventing the parachute in 1783 but Da Vinci should be credited with the invention. Da Vinci’s parachute model was not tested in tried by himself, but was tested by Adrian Nichols in 2000. Da Vinci’s parachute worked as designed and Nichols commented that it was a smoother ride than modern day parachutes. In the pages of Da Vinci’s journals there are sketches of a baby in the womb. Though flawed, it was a fairly accurate description of the baby far before ultrasound was invented. Da Vinci’s thousands of drawings and notes on the human body were 100 years, and some professors believe 300 years, before its time. Dissecting human bodies to create anatomical drawings was a dangerous path with no cleaning materials or sterile gloves. There was a great risk of catching diseases that medicine at that time could not cure. Through the research of human anatomy Da Vinci helped disprove some of the ideas of the human body at that time. The Creation Mandate is defined as subduing the earth. Subduing the earth by cultivating, developing and managing the world around us in a way that meets mankind’s needs. Da Vinci met these requirements. Da Vinci’s drawings of nature helped him, in his paintings, determine how the colors are supposed to look and the how the texture looks against certain tones. The research of the human body explained which muscles were where, how the baby was created in the womb and how the human body worked. Da Vinci’s design for his army tank had flaws, but it served as a model for tanks that were used in World War I. One of the pages in his journal shows an automobile with a mechanism that was far ahead of his time. The journals Da Vinci kept covered ideas, tools and inventions that would not be created until centuries later. Da Vinci’s work helps us fulfill the Creation Mandate by exploring creation and finding how everything in this world works together for the glory of God. Da Vinci’s drawings declare the work of God by sketching the human anatomy of a human being or drawing nature because God created what Da Vinci was sketching and without realizing it he was giving glory to God. “Not only is Da Vinci’s research amazing, but also his sketches help us fulfill this mandate. His figures showed how he looked at the world like it was a brand new toy that he could not stop playing with. In his sketch, Flower Studies, flowers are put together and taken apart multiple times. How could something this small have so much in it? How can a flower be drawn and drawn again with so much interest? Because it was made by the Creator and all you have to do is “beautiful”. “Incomparable” to something that you will never be able to create even in a thousand years, but it is something that God can create in one heartbeat.
Leonardo Da Vinci to me is the greatest scientist that ever lived. All of his research that was far ahead of his time and everyone in that time period said he was mad! We have scientists today that are able to create helicopters and tanks because of Leonardo Da Vinci. His interesting life, his exceptional paintings, and his ingenious inventions set the way for you and I, painters, and scientists.