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Leonardo Da Vinci
Transcript of Leonardo Da Vinci
The Mona Lisa
The Vitruvian Man
Leonardo started learning about anatomy while apprenticing with Verrocchio. His drawing of the Vitruvian Man was unique as it had the circle and square overlapping. Leonardo noted that ‘If you open the legs so as to reduce the stature by one-fourteenth and open and raise your arms so that your middle fingers touch the line through the top of the head, know that the centre of the extremities of the outspread limbs will be the umbilicus, and the space between the legs will make and equilateral triangle’.
Da Vinci designed an armoured car for the military in around 1485, for the Duke of Milan. The armoured car could move in any direction and had many deadly weapons. This design was not developed until much later as the technology was not advanced enough. It was later realised that in his design Da Vinci made an error by making all the powering cranks going in the opposite direction, which made the vehicle impossible to move forward.
Leonardo Da Vinci was born in 1452 in Vinci, Italy. He died in France in 1519. Da Vinci was a love child between an important official and a peasant girl. He was raised by his father although would not be accepted into university as his mother was poor.
Between the ages 15 and 18, Leonardo worked as an apprentice to a gifted artist in Florence, Andrea di Cione (known as Verrocchio). He learned new skills as an artist and excelled in all his work.
By Emi Adair
The Reader's Digest, 2015, 15/03/15, http://www.readersdigest.com.au/the-legacy-of-a-genius?page=1
Leonardo Da Vinci, 2005, 16/03/15, http://www.unmuseum.org/leonardo.html
A&E Television, 2015, 21/03/15, http://www.history.com/topics/leonardo-da-vinci
BBC, 2015, 16/03/15, http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20130828-leonardo-da-vinci-the-anatomist
Metropolitan Museum, 2015, 27/03/15, http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/leon/hd_leon.htm
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2015, 16/03/15, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/537371/sfumato
Da Vinci Inventions, 2008, 28/03/15, http://www.da-vinci-inventions.com/armoured-car.aspx
Da Vinci Inventions, 2008, 28/03/15, http://www.da-vinci-inventions.com/parachute.aspx University of Arts, 2015, 28/03/15, http://www.universalleonardo.org/work.php?id=511
Stanford University, 2002, 28/03/15, http://leonardodavinci.stanford.edu/submissions/clabaugh/history/leonardo.html
Museum Of Science, 1997, 29/03/15, http://legacy.mos.org/sln/Leonardo/
Spark notes, 2015, 30/03/15, http://www.sparknotes.com/biography/davinci/summary.html
Fordham University, 2015, 29/03/15, http://medievalsourcesbibliography.org/sources.php?id=1187817949
The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, 1997, 29/03/15, http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/dv/
Wikipedia, 2014, 30/03/15, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitruvian_Man
Cengage + Oxford University 1977, 30/03/15, http://college.cengage.com/history/west/resources/students/primary/cosmos.htm
Legacy and Impact
Even 500 years later, people still remember him as an artist, sculptor, scientist, architect, engineer, draftsmen and inventor. Da Vinci designed many products that are used today, such as the helicopter, parachute, bicycle, submarine and military tank. To quote Sigmund Freund, "like a man who awoke too early in the darkness, while the others were all still asleep".
His legacy is reflected in his most famous works including the above inventions, his paintings: the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, and his work on the human body. Next, some of his finest works are summarised.
Leonardo, as talented as he was, often grew "bored with the brush" and didn’t complete many of his artworks. He also found it difficult working with authority figures and rarely finished a project successfully.
When he became uninterested with painting, he became a curious scientist, anatomist, engineer, architect and inventor. Da Vinci sketched almost two hundred carefully drawn images of the human body. His incredibly detailed sketchbooks are confirmation that Da Vinci imagined countless ideas long before technology had the capability to officially create them.
History and Interests
Significance to The Renaissance
The Mona Lisa has to be Da Vinci's most famous artwork, and is also arguably one of the most famous artworks in the world. He uses a technique called sfumato which in Italian means "smoke". The technique involves the use of no lines while painting or drawing and instead blending colours and tones. The Mona Lisa uses this technique extensively, mainly in the facial features to make the face seem more realistic yet also quite illusionistic with atmospheric effects. But certainly, the most famous part of the painting is the mysterious half-smile of the model.
Although Sebastien Lenormand in 1783 was the first man to invent the practical parachute, Da Vinci was the first to design the idea. Around 300 years before, Da Vinci sketched the idea of a parachute made out of linen with a wooden frame. This idea was never tested by Leonardo like all his other inventions, but a daredevil in the 2000's did recreate his version of the parachute and it worked as intended.
Analysing A Primary Source
Leonardo; The First Scientist, Michael White, UK, Little, Brown and Company, 2000,
Da Vinci influenced millions and inspired many people. He only completed a handful of paintings although he was one of the most talented Italian artists during the Renaissance. Even though he was an intelligent man with numerous scientific discoveries, he never published them. He was also a compassionate vegetarian who cared for animals, yet designed deadly military weapons.
Before the Renaissance, during the Middle Ages, no one painted or made any discoveries. Everything was focused on surviving. Once the Renaissance period began, Da Vinci was a huge inspiration to everyone and he gave creative and artistic joy back to people.
Our knowledge of Da Vinci's work and life is found in his notebooks as he did not publish any of his scientific work or test any of his inventions. Out of around 13,000 documents, only 7,000 full pages were saved. The pages are being preserved mainly in museums and in private collections.
Leonardo Da Vinci: Notes on the Cosmos (c. 1515)
I can never do other than blame many of those ancients who said that the sun was no larger than it appears; among these being Epicurus; and I believe that he reasoned thus from the effects of a light placed in our atmosphere equidistant from the centre; whoever sees it never sees it diminished in size at any distance.
This source is quite useful when trying to understand what Leonardo thought about and what he studied when he was alive. Although it is not that useful when trying to decipher how Leonardo acted or behaved. As he wrote it himself and it is not about him, the source has good perspective and is reliable as it is not biased.