Essay, Research Paper: Leonardo DaVinci

Famous People

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Geniuses come few and far between in history. Hippocrates came in the late BC
period. Einstein came in the late 1800s-early 1900s. Leonardo came in between
the two of them, but is not recognized as well as they are. He was a brilliant
human being. He was a master in the fields of painting, designing, engineering,
and science. Most people know him merely as an artist, and some know him as an
inventor, but not too many people know him for what he really was. This is
because his life and his accomplishments are not taught, as in depth as they
should be. During the height of the renascence, a genius was born in 1452 in the
small town of Vinci, near Florence. He would become a great artist, engineer,
inventor, and a scientist. His name was Leonardo, a name that would soon be
associated with the word brilliant. He was born to Piero, the lawyer of the
town, and Catarina, who gave Leonardo to his father, and left them both for a
man of her social class. She is not mentioned in Leonardo's notebooks, as he was
probably too young to remember her. Leonardo grew up feeling different from the
other children. He had a strange curiosity that was lacking in the other
children. He would buy birds from the markets, and set them free, because he
thought it was wrong to keep them locked up in cages. He also had a strange
curiosity about the world around him. He kept collections of "snakeskins,
odd stones polished by water, birds' eggs, the skeletons of small animals,
insects stuck on pins, tadpoles, and strange plants," in his room because
they fascinated him. Leonardo would draw the things in his collection in a
notebook. When his father saw the notebook, he thought that there was a
possibility that Leonardo had a chance to become an artist. Piero went into
Florence once a month on business and one time he brought some of his son’s
work. He showed it to his friend Andrea del Verrocchio. “He saw more than just
mere talent in Leonardo” and almost immediately, Leonardo moved to Florence as
Verrocchio apprentice. Leonardo never got married. From what is known, he did
not have any children, either. I find this tragic, for if he had any children,
they may have possibly continued in Leonardo’s footsteps, and become great
geniuses as well. Leonardo was so talented that after Leonardo painted two
angels in the corner of Verrocchio’s Baptism of Christ, Verrocchio never
painted again. Soon after that Leonardo went on to paint the Annunciation, which
was his first of only a few completed paintings. When Leonardo painted he
generally experimented with new techniques, and paints, so once he finished
perfecting the experiment he went on to another work. Leonardo’s paintings are
truly masterful. He made two copies of one of his first paintings, The Virgin on
the Rocks. The first one he painted in Florence. The second one he painted for
the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception. He was commissioned to paint for
them. He felt he was not being paid enough to create a new painting. Therefore,
rather than refusing to paint, or raising the price, Leonardo, smart as he was,
suggested that he copy of The Virgin on the Rocks for them. Although the
paintings are relatively the same, there are noticeable differences in the
details of the two of them. Leonardo’s version of The Last Supper is truly the
best version ever created. “Artists before Leonardo had tried to recreate this
dramatic moment in Christ’s life, but no one had succeeded with such nobility
and force.” Leonardo depicted all the apostles with such personality and grace
that all of their emotions and feelings were masterfully revealed. The betrayal
is shown beautifully as well. Truly, no one has ever come close to surpassing
the true genius of DaVinci’s depiction of the Last Supper. Another great
painting by Leonardo DaVinci is the Mona Lisa. This is his most famous painting.
Mona Lisa was the daughter of a Florentine merchant. She is sitting with her
hands folded, with a particular grin, which is seen in many of Leonardo’s
paintings. Leonardo’s inventions were way ahead of his time. He created plans
for tanks, helicopters, submarines, and many other weapons of war and machinery.
He also experimented with flying, and although now one really knows for sure,
many people believe that he was unsuccessful at this. For every recreation of
his experiment has used materials that Leonardo didn’t have in his time
period. However, his plan for the submarine did work when it was recreated using
the recently developed materials. His plans for mutlibarrelled guns, tanks,
cannons, and many other weapons were created successfully by him. Another one of
Leonardo’s inventions was central heating, which he installed in a castle. He
designed many different types of bridges, and scientific instrument, which most
certainly changed the worlds of travel and especially science. He was a
brilliant scientist. He studied the fields of anatomy, and botany. He made many
findings, and broke a lot of new ground in both of these fields. He studied the
bodies of thirty corpses, to unlock the secrets of man. He studied the muscles,
organs, and tissues, to learn all that he could. He examined faces in depth, as
well as the brain cavity, and bones of the skull. He was searching for what he
called the “ ‘vital force,’ the soul, which gave life to the body”. He
found out by studying frogs that if the spinal cord is pierced we die instantly.
He realized that the heart was the center of all life, and that each beat sent a
wave of blood throughout the body. He drew many botanical drawings in the
interests of studying the plants. He created many of the backgrounds in his
paintings from these drawings, but not before using them to study plantlife. He
solved many engineering problems. He planned for an olden day freeway, to cut
down on traffic. He engineered many brutal warships, for ramming and slicing
into other ships. He engineered the first air conditioner for the d’Este
family. He engineered the first tanks, which were very successful in battle. He
engineered a double spiral staircase in towers so that in time of war soldiers
could be moving up and down at the same time. During his lifetime, Leonardo
lived in six different cities, making seven big moves. He was born in Vinci, and
from there, he went to Florence. After Florence, he moved to Milan, then Venice,
then to Rome, back to Florence, and back to Rome. Finally, he moved to France,
which is where he died in 1519. In his lifetime, Leonardo accomplished more in
terms of progress than anyone else in history. He had a gigantic effect on life
in those days, as he still does today. His great success and artistic excellence
has inspired many young men to start painting, and many others to give it up. He
pushed the progress of man further and faster than anyone else did during the
renascence. Many things that he designed were later created and improved by
nineteenth and twentieth century inventors. He painted many paintings that even
now puzzle, inspire, and intrigue many young people.

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