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Leonardo Da Vinci

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Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452 in Vinci, Tuscany, during a time called the Renaissance. His creations of art and advancements in science not only surpassed those of his time, but have contributed to the fundamentals of modern day technology and are arguably the greatest in history. Many of da Vinci’s paintings remain today as proof of his pioneered techniques, brilliance, and talent. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language defines “renaissance man” as “[a] man who has broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences.” This is a term still used today, and its derivation is obvious. Many people in the Fourteenth to Sixteenth Centuries were skillful artists and scientists, but Leonardo da Vinci was the quintessential Renaissance man.

The Renaissance was a time of economic stability. Originating in Italy and eventually expanding to other parts of Europe such as Germany, France, and England, the Renaissance was an era of renewed interest in literature and art and emphasized autonomous thought and creations. The philosophy of humanism, an idea stressing the importance and distinction of individuals, is thought to have originated during this time (“Renaissance” Encarta). Italian writers struggled to discover and preserve earlier works by Romans and Greeks.

There was one main cause for the Renaissance and the economical boom; a population increase. The Crusades caused a spark in trade due to interactions with other cultures. Trade routes were established and eventually became crowded. Therefore, existing towns grew into cities, and new ones were conceived. As towns grew and became crowded, there arose a need for expansion. People traveled more and interacted with other cities and cultures, which was forbidden under the feudal system. This interaction and constant traveling, along with military encounters, increased trade even more. The feudal system began to break down.

The exports brought money, and Italian rulers and nobles, as well as the governments of cities, became wealthier because of the merchants: “These merchants exerted both political and economic leadership and their attitudes and interest helped to shape the Italian Renaissance” (“Renaissance” World History 345). They also donated generously in support of the arts. Soon, cities became comm...

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...e course of art in Western civilization, and his scientific studies in the fields of anatomy, optics, and hydraulics were the basis for many of the developments of modern science. The variety of his interests and the depth of his brilliance made him the quintessential Renaissance man.

Works Cited

“Early Renaissance” Microsoft Bookshelf ’95. CD-ROM. Microsoft Corp. 1995.

Hale, John R. Renaissance. New York: Time Inc., 1965.

“Leonardo da Vinci.” Da Vinci Museum on the Web. Online. Internet. February 28, 2000.

Available: http://www.davinci-museum.com/davinengl1.htm

“Leonardo da Vinci.” Microsoft Encarta ’99. CD-ROM. Microsoft Corp. 1998.

“Piero della Francesca” Microsoft Bookshelf ’95. CD-ROM. Microsoft Corp. 1995.

“The Renaissance.” Who and When? The Renaissance: Artists and Writers. 1998.

“The Renaissance in Italy.” World History: Connections to Today. 1999.

Richter, Irma A. The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1952.

Snyder, James. Northern Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture, the Graphic Arts from 1350 to 1575. Phoenix: Prentice-Hall, 1985.

Turner, A. Richard. Inventing Leonardo. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.
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