The "Genius" Leonardo Da Vinci

1082 words - 4 pages

In the latter stages of the fifteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci, as a part of the Italian Renaissance, used his innovative ideas to further science and art. This insight revolutionized the thinking of his society. "The Renaissance was poised between the humanists' links to antiquity and the challenges of new social, political, economic, scientific, and ecclesiastical developments" (Reti, 22). Leonardo da Vinci was one of "the most diverse and enigmatic talent (s) of the Renaissance" (Bishop, 209). He displayed "genius" in almost all of the arts, sciences, engineering, and mathematics. Da Vinci is reported as "being jus about the smartest person ever", "he was indeed a man of both worlds".( was born April fifteenth, fourteen fifty-two to, twenty-five year old, Piero da Vinci who was a village lawyer and notary. His mother was a peasant girl named Caterina. He was given the surname da Vinci denoting that he came from the small country town Vinci, where he spent most of his childhood. After da Vinci's birth, his father took custody of him, while his mother married an artisan and moved away. Leonardo grew on his grandparent's farm. He was treated as a legitimate son by his grandparents and received the usual elementary education: reading, writing, and arithmetic. During his early education, a special gift for drawing was revealed. As a result of Leonardo's artistic ability at the age of fifteen, his father took him to Florence to study with Andrea del Verrocchio, a leading painter and sculptor. He "was at least the equal of Verrocchio - if not his superior" (Buchholz, 11). Leonardo was accepted into the artist's guild of Florence. While studying with Verrocchio, da Vinci worked next-door in the workshop of Antonio Pollaiuolo, where he was introduced and first drawn to the study of anatomy. Leonardo then went to work in Milan where he spent seventeen years of his life. He worked as an artist and technical adviser on architecture and engineering projects. It was during those years that he painted the "Last Supper" as well as some of his other well-known works.Da Vinci's revolutionary thoughts and ideas helped to satisfy his curiosity as well as advanced his people's culture. "He was one of the greatest scientific minds ever to have lived".("Leonardo filled pages of his notebooks with thousands of sketches and designs that attest to his keen insight" (Bishop, 209). Some of his sketches consisted of: movement of water, the motion of birds' flight, and the circulation of blood. "His notes showed that he was something of an eccentric".( was fascinated with the human body. His interest in anatomy came from studying for his painting. He jotted down thoughts in preparation of writing a textbook on human anatomy. Although his paintings only...

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