Leonardo da Vinci as Artist-Scientist Essay

Leonardo da Vinci as Artist-Scientist Essay

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While some of Leonardo da Vinci’s ingenious work might be attributed to his gifted, relentless mind, his success in every branch he ventured in could be credited to a scholarly curiosity in the laws of nature and men. His paintings and inventions were not the embodiment of the High Renaissance in the magnificence of the product, because, as we know, much of it was left unfinished, but on the methodical approach through which it was achieved. Observation, led by fascination of natural phenomenon such as the refraction of light in the atmosphere, the relativity of size in the visual plane, or the webbing of veins and arteries, not only assured the mastery of his art, but served as an important landmark in the intellectual revival of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Leonardo da Vinci, possibly the Renaissance’s most favored son, was indeed a universal man, from warfare inventions to art masterworks, he represents the epitome of the individualistic quest for enrichment in artistic, civil and academic endeavors typical of post medieval art.
To begin with, Leonardo’s greatest show of genius was the success with which he imitated nature. Not only did he go above and beyond the technics of his time, but he challenged ethical notions in his pursuit to recreate God’s work. As he noted on his Notebooks “he wished to work miracles” (Leonardo: Selection from the Notebooks, 1). His dissections of human bodies, carried in the name of anatomical research, were more than frowned upon at the time, but gave a more thorough understanding of the complex mechanisms behind our seemingly effortless movements. Furthermore, he applied mathematical concepts in the composition of his pieces to provide them with an unprecedented sense of depth. With th...


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...human nature constitutes an important aspect defining the Renaissance movement. In that sense, I find his warfare designs inconsistent with the Renaissance’s concept of honoring human nature.
Having mentioned that, measured in Renaissance standards, Leonardo da Vinci was definitely a universal genius. In a way, Leonardo is the Vetruvian Man of the Renaissance movement, his individual work and approach to the creative and intellectual process constitutes the microcosm within the artistic and scientific flourish of the Renaissance macrocosm in the manner in which earthly ideas focused on enjoying and understanding this life rather than the next.

























Works Cited

Priwer, Shana, and Cynthia Phillips. 101 things you didn't know about Da Vinci the secrets of the world's most eccentric and innovative genius revealed. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2005. Print.

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