Leonardo Da Vinci – More than an artist
The Italian artist born on April 15, 1452, was the most talented person to have lived till May 2, 1519, with knowledge and curiosity that spanned a wide range of fields. Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and the Vitruvian Man are some of his popular works amongst others.
There are more surprising things about Leonardo Da Vinci that we have gathered for you, read ahead to find out –
1. Leonardo was the illegitimate son of a respected notary/lawyer, Messer Piero Frosino di Antonio da Vinci, and a young peasant woman named Caterina di Meo Lippi, and spent his very early childhood with his mother in the town of Anchiano, Italy. When he was five years old, the future Renaissance icon went to live with his father in Vinci. Different to a typical surname you might think of today, “da Vinci” simply means “of Vinci”, the Tuscan town where he was born.
2. Leonardo da Vinci wasn’t just an incredible artist, he was an inventor, scientist, mathematician, engineer, writer, musician and much more. Talk about talented! He was homeschooled and lacked formal education in Greek and Latin. During his seven years in Florence, da Vinci would have gained knowledge about a number of crafts, including drafting, metallurgy, plaster casting, and carpentry. He also had exposure to drawing, painting, and sculpting.
3. An ambidextrous, paranoid dyslexic, Leonardo could draw forward with one hand while writing backward with the other, meaning you’d need a mirror to read it properly. Some historians explain the many backward-written texts among da Vinci’s papers as the artist’s effort to encode his ideas against theft, but others speculate that when writing with his left hand, da Vinci reversed direction as a means of avoiding inevitable smears of the wet ink, charcoal or chalk he was using.
4. Some of the Renaissance artist’s lesser-known invention plans, all of which would later be put into general usage, include: an underwater breathing apparatus, a life preserver, a pile driver, an armored car, a revolving crane, a parachute, a pulley, a method to concentrate solar power, water-powered mills and engines, single-span bridges, a diving bell that could attack ships from below, a scythed chariot, a lagoon dredge and a flying ship.
5. In December 2000, skydiver Adrian Nicholas landed in South Africa using a parachute built from one of Leonardo’s designs.
6. He crushed intelligent design before anyone even thought of it: His studies of river erosion convinced him that the Earth is much older than the Bible implies.
7. His conceptual drawings included plans for musical instruments, war machines, calculators, boats and other ideas. Many of these plans were limited by the level of technology at the time.
8. He became an expert in the anatomy of the human body, studying it in detail and creating hundreds of drawings to help explain his thoughts.
9. Famous Leonardo da Vinci quotes include: “He who thinks little, errs much.”
10. Leonardo Da Vinci had been underground for about two years because he indulged in Sodomy.
11. Da Vinci produced more than 6,000 pages of musings, jokes, inspirations and invention plans during his lifetime. Folio 44 of his Codex Arundel contains a long list of playful synonyms for penis.
12. After dissecting cadavers, Leonardo replaced the muscles with strings to see how they worked.
13. Leonardo was the first to explain why the sky is blue and why the entire moon is dimly visible when it is a thin crescent.
14. Bill Gates bought the Codex Leicester in 1995 for $30 million.
15. Unusual for a painter, Leonardo left no definitive image of himself.