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Leonardo Da Vinci: His Life And Accomplishments (Pt 1).

856 words - 3 pages

Introduction.Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the village of Vinci, between the Tuscan cities of Empoli and Pistoia, on the 15 of April, 1452 at around 3 am. At the age of 16 he and his family moved to Florence. It was there that his father sent him to study with the most versatile and sought after Florentine master of the time: the sculptor, painter and goldsmith Andrea Verrochio. During that time Leonardo started to develop his artistic personality. He seems to have a very odd career as an artist who sold almost no pictures and completed no major sculptures. A number of the most famous paintings appear never to have been passed on to those who commissioned them.Leonardo had a keen eye and quick mind that led him to make important discoveries, yet he never published his ideas. He was a gentle vegetarian who despised war, yet he worked as a military engineer to invent advanced and deadly weapons.Accomplishments/Inventions.Leonardo developed a unique new attitude about machines. He reasoned that by understanding how each separate machine worked, he could modify them and combine them in different ways to improve existing machines or create inventions no one had ever seen or heard of before. His tremendous talents as an illustrator allowed him to draw his idea with exceptional precision.By 1503, Florence was at war with the neighbouring city of Pisa, and Leonardo worked on a plan to divert the Arno River from the enemy city. First it would cut off Pisa's supply route, and later the river the river would be turned into a canal for peacetime use. Neither project was ever finished but Leonardo's reputation as a creator and talented engineer was firmly established.An excellent example of how he thought about military devices is his design for a giant cross bow. Although repelled by the effects of war, which he called 'Beastly Madness', he was drawn deeply into the design of ever-more destructive weapons drawn both by the wishes of his patrons and by his own fascination with the challenge of systems that could amplify human power a thousand fold. This highly finished design looks at first like one of the kinds of unrealistic designs, intended to impress patrons rather than to be actually constructed. On such a scale, the problems become formidable, not least the thickness of the arms of the bow, for which he has conceived sliding laminations to overcome their tendency to crack when drawn back with the enormous power required. When the giant bow was actually built for a television programme, the limbs cracked alarmingly - though builders mistakenly set off on...

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