Life and Work of Leonardo da Vinci Essay

Life and Work of Leonardo da Vinci Essay

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Life and Work of Leonardo da Vinci



Leonardo da Vinci had a powerful mind and was a very curious and daring boy. Leonardo was so curious about flying, he jumped off a barn with wings that he made by himself. Leonardo loved nature and exploring. He would also like to draw geometrical shapes.
Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452 in Vinci, Italy. Vinci was a farming community with hillsides, growing grapes, fruit trees and olives. His mother was a peasant woman and his father was a notary. He was often alone, exploring and experimenting in the hills and other areas of his home. This gave him a bond and a love of nature that is reflected in all his art and sculpture. As a teenager, Leonardo was apprenticed to an artist and sculptor, named Andrea del Verrocchio in Florence.

By the age of twenty-one Leonardo was an accomplished painter and sculptor. He painted many portraits of royalty, dukes, duchesses, kings and queens. His most famous portrait is the 'Mona Lisa'. The subject was the wife of a Florentine merchant. Its fame is due to her strange and mysterious smile. It is thought that Leonardo used court jesters to make her smile as he worked. Margaret Livingstone, a present-day authority on visual processing, has a scientific explanation about Mona Lisa's smile. When people look at a face, their eye goes to the eyes, and the peripheral vision, (the side vision), which is less accurate, goes to the other areas of the face. So, when someone looks at the eyes of Mona Lisa, the peripheral vision goes to her mouth, and the shadows painted there by Leonardo suggest to the viewer that "elusive smile". If you just looked at her mouth, she doesn't seem to be smiling at all. With Leonardo's extensive study of optics, this could have been deliberate, adding to his genius.

Leonardo experimented with different types of paints and plaster. This was probably one of the reasons for his interest in these arts, because he left so many works unfinished. Through his painting and sculpture, he found away to pursue his experiments and use the things he learned, and still be accepted by the society he lived in..

By 1503 he worked to aid Florence's war with Pisa. He designed an aqua duct plan to cut off the water to Pisa so that Florence would win the war. He was then established as a creative and talented engineer. He was often in the employ of the Nobility for his ...


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... are loose papers, which come from various times of his life, are about the physical and geographical effects of water. Leonardo hoped to write a book about this subject. The Renaissance was a special time in the history of man. The word renaissance means rebirth. The Renaissance came following the Dark Ages. It was an explosion of creativity in art, literature, science and music. Leonardo da Vinci was born in these times. He was known as the "Renaissance Man", because he himself was an 'explosion' of all these things, and brought so much to them. Before the Renaissance, people had to spend their entire lives just struggling to exist.


As you can see, Leonardo was a genius. He was extremely open-minded in his thinking. He wanted to know things, just for the sake of knowing them. He put pieces of knowledge together in different and new ways, like pieces of puzzles. His imagination gave him ideas that were hundreds of years ahead of his time. What we can learn from Leonardo is there is always something to discover in learning new things, and that something can be found in looking at something in many different ways. And each person can be many things throughout their lifetime.

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