Leonardo da Vinci: The Art of Science

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Leonardo da Vinci was born in Vinci, Italy during the Renaissance in 1452; he was born out of wedlock, but had some formal education. Da Vinci was Verrocchio’s apprentice, where he learned art and was introduced to science and engineering. Leonardo learned Latin so he could take advantage of books printed in his time; between his own observations and reading studies done previously, Leonardo taught himself science. Unlike most people in his time, he questioned previous studies instead of openly accepting them. When Leonardo grew older he worked for the duke of Milan, and painted “the Last Supper”, his painting style was more realistic than most other artists during the Renaissance; this could be because of his extraordinary observation skills. He was the first to accurately portray the proportions of the human body, how the length from each fingertip equaled the height of the body, which was displayed in the “Renaissance Man”. The church finally allowed dissections for scientific purposes, but it was also common for successful artists to dissect corpses, in order to learn more about humans and further their artwork, but Leonardo da Vinci was curious as to how the world worked and started to perform his own experiments and dissections for learning purposes (Belt; Cooper; O’ Malley; Potter). Leonardo concluded scientific theories that the rest of the world would not address until centuries after his time and the naturalistic techniques he used led to the birth of modern anatomy. Leonardo was the first to think of streamlined ships, helicopters meant for human flight, invent a diving suit with an air reservoir, to understand the position of leaves on stems of plants, draw an accurate picture of the heart and describe its function a... ... middle of paper ... ...o make connections between different studies, and apply them to solve problems; this was exceptional for scientists in his era. Some of his discoveries helped other scientists, centuries later, to discover their theories, and Leonardo still did not receive credit for his work. Leonardo only received recognition for his artwork and models for his research, which no one marveled in the importance of until three centuries later when his journals were translated. People admired Leonardo’s journal illustrations but, “[t]he purpose of Leonardo’s was to reveal structure and sometimes function through visual demonstrations of the actually dissected material” (Belt 13), they did not realize the scientific importance behind it. Although Leonardo’s models are impressive artistically, his illustrations and theories were important scientifically and centuries ahead of his time.
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