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There are a certain number of artists, creators, and thinkers who leave a centuries-long impact on human history. I’m sure that you can think of some right off the top of your head. Some of them include Michelangelo, Isaac Newton, and even Steve Jobs.
Yet there is one individual who has achieved so much in the worlds of art and science. You’ve likely heard of him. His name is Leonardo DaVinci.
One of the most intelligent people to have walked our Earth, his works and thoughts still captivate people around the world. From the Mona Lisa to DaVinci’s early designs for a flying machine, his life can be summed up in one word: fascinating.
An Unrivaled Thinker and Creator
DaVinci was born in the year 1452 in Vinci, which is a small town in Italy. In his early life, DaVinci was educated by Andrea del Verrocchio, who was a painter in Florence. Compared to schools today, artists and creators in the Renaissance era apprenticed under a master. Doing so, they can learn from the master’s successes and mistakes as they created their personal artistic style.
So even though DaVinci did not have a formal education, he is known as a “Renaissance Man.” This is the sort of person that is an expert in many different areas. After learning from his master Verrocchio, DaVinci showed off his talent in cities like Milan, Rome, Bologna, and Venice.
When going through these cities, DaVinci was hired by different powerful individuals to craft different types of works. He is most known for his paintings, but DaVinci was a sculptor, scientist, and architect. Along with these engagements, DaVinci would experiment and take detailed notes in his famous notebooks.
His life was absolutely fascinating — even beyond his creations and discoveries. In fact, for two years of his life, DaVinci was missing. From 1476 to 1478, few primary sources recorded DaVinci’s activities. Some believe that DaVinci went to a cave where he discovered aliens! According to the theory, he wrote about his discoveries in those notebooks. While the theory hasn’t been proven, it goes to show that DaVinci lived a life unlike many others.
After a life full of beautiful art and fascinating discoveries, DaVinci died in 1519 in France. He was 67 years old.
DaVinci’s Most Famous Works
When talking about Leonardo DaVinci, much of the conversation centers on his works and inventions. His works were timeless and his inventions were ahead of his time. He had the unique ability to make beautiful works and thought-provoking inventions that continue to captivate us.
In any discussion of Leonardo DaVinci, you must talk about the Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa is DaVinci’s most famous work and the most popular painting in human history. The Mona Lisa in Italian is called La Gioconda, which means “the laughing one.” The woman painted in the Mona Lisa is thought to be Lisa Gherardini, who was a noblewoman in Italy.
DaVinci first began working on the Mona Lisa in the year 1503. He worked on it for three years, and some believe that he actually completed the work in 1517. Arguably the most famous part of the Mona Lisa is her face, which contains an elusive smile. The dramatic landscape background is also one of the more striking parts of the Mona Lisa. If you can travel to Paris to see the in the Louvre Museum.
Along with the Mona Lisa, one of DaVinci’s most famous paintings is The Last Supper , a work that shows the last meal that Jesus had with his disciples. DaVinci was hired to make this painting for a church in Milan, Italy. The Last Supper is one of the world’s most recognizable paintings. At the center of the painting is Jesus, right before he says that one of his disciples will betray him. The disciples have different reactions to the news, with some being angry and others being shocked. Unfortunately, little of the original painting remains. This is because of wear and tear and the passage of time.
Even though it isn’t strictly a painting, DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man is also a classic. The Vitruvian Man is a drawing of a man in two superimposed positions. The man’s arms and legs are separated and are within a circle and square. Ultimately, the drawing is important because it shows DaVinci’s understanding of mathematics, art, and proportion. Experts also argue that the Vitruvian Man is one of the most important drawings that shows man’s relationship to nature.
DaVinci’s art and drawings alone would make him one of the most influential creators in history. That being said, he didn’t stop there. DaVinci was known as a forward-looking inventor, who came up with concepts and ideas that we continue to see today.
As just one example, DaVinci’s notebooks include inventions for things like musical instruments, hydraulic pumps, mortar shells, and a steam cannon. One of his most fascinating concepts was his earlier designs of a modern-day helicopter. While it doesn’t look much like the helicopters we see today, DaVinci wasn’t far off in thinking of how science and technology would change our world.
Ultimately, much of DaVinci’s knowledge can be found in his famous notebooks. He used his notebooks to not only think about creations he was working on, but to think about life as a whole. Clearly, DaVinci was a thinker beyond his time. Even in the year 2020, it’s safe to say that he was one of the most remarkable humans that ever walked our planet.
One of the Most Fascinating People in Human History
In all likelihood, there will never be another person like Leonardo DaVinci. He was such a talented artist, sculptor, architect, and designer. He truly fits the label of “Renaissance Man.” But even beyond his works that we continue to enjoy, his life was absolutely fascinating. From studying under great artists to perhaps discovering aliens, DaVinci was an unbelievable person. Whether you are looking at his pieces of art or the forward-looking ideas in his famous notebooks, I’m sure you can say the same.