Leonardo da Vinci was a Renaissance man. From painting "The Last Supper" and the "Mona Lisa" to inventing a flying machine, he has influenced millions of artists and inventors for hundreds of years. Not only as a painter but also as a scientist, mathematician, engineer, architect, inventor and anatomist, Leonardo was able to combine art and science in an exceptional way. His work had a profound effect on the development of science from his anatomical drawings to modern engineering.

Who Was Leonardo da Vinci?

Leonardo da Vinci was a Renaissance man and the epitome of a true Renaissance man. Gifted with a curious mind and a brilliant intellect, da Vinci studied the laws of science and nature which greatly informed his work. His drawings and paintings and other works have influenced countless artists and engineers over the centuries.

Early Life of Leonardo Da Vinci

Da Vinci was born in a farmhouse outside the village of Anchiano in Tuscany, Italy (about 18 miles west of Florence) on April 15, 1452. Born out of wedlock to respected Florentine notary Ser Piero and a young peasant woman named Caterina, da Vinci was raised by his father and his stepmother. His talent was evident early on, and he soon began to help his father with the copying of documents. From an early age da Vinci had a great interest in art and at the age of 14, he became apprenticed to the renowned painter Verrocchio of Florence. In 1472 da Vinci moved to Milan to continue his apprenticeship with the artist Andrea del Verrocchio. There he met Francesco Melzi, who became his lifelong companion as well as his assistant. In 1476, after 2 years in Milan, both went back to Florence where da Vinci worked as a sculptor for a short time before again being taken on as an apprentice by Andrea del Verrocchio.

Education of Da Vinci

In 1476, da Vinci became a member of the painters' guild and opened his own workshop in Florence. During this time, he worked on several important projects such as painting an altarpiece and designing the costumes and sets for theatrical productions. Following Verrocchio's death in 1488, da Vinci's career path shifted into a different direction. He continued to work as an artist but also took on engineering and scientific research projects including studying architecture, civil engineering and military strategy. In 1492, he traveled to Milan at the request of Ludovico Sforza, who made him his court painter and mechanical engineer. Da Vinci's later inventions such as a parachute, methods of channeling water and designing a machine that could lift an obelisk were all originally intended for use in war. Although he did not receive much formal education himself, da Vinci was well-versed in many different areas of science and mathematics. His notebooks contain detailed studies on the heart, human anatomy, rocks, geology, flying machines and architecture. In addition to these scientific studies, da Vinci sketched hundreds of notes on topics ranging from history to theater to metaphysics in what historians have described as a "universal genius."

Leonardo da Vinci's Early Works

At the age of 20, Leonardo da Vinci qualified for membership as a master artist in Florence’s Guild of Saint Luke and established his own workshop. However, he continued to collaborate with his master Andrea del Verrocchio for an additional five years. It is said that Luca della Robbia completed his “Baptism of Christ” around 1475 with the help of his student, who painted part of the background and the young angel holding the robe of Jesus. According to Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects, written around 1550 by artist Giorgio Vasari, Leonardo da Vinciso humbled his master with a sketch of a little horse that del Verrocchio never picked up a paintbrush again. In 1478 after leaving del Verrocchio’s studio, the first independent commission from Leonardo da Vinci was for an altarpiece which would reside in a chapel inside Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio. Three years later Leonardo da Vinci would be commissioned by the Augustinian monks of Florence’s San Donato a Scopeto to paint “Adoration of the Magi.” The young artist, however, would leave Florence and abandon both commissions without ever completing them.

Leonardo Da Vinci's Secret to a Golden Ratio Smile

The Golden Ratio is a mathematical ratio that is said to be the "most aesthetically pleasing shape", found in nature, art, and architecture. It is also known as the Divine Proportion. The Golden Ratio is expressed by the Greek letter Phi (Φ). Let's look at an example of how this works in practice. If you were to take a square, it would have four sides. Each side would be 1 unit long. If you were to take that square and divide it in half along its diagonal, you can see that it can be divided into two rectangles that are identical in size to the original square. This is because the length of each side of the rectangle is equal to 1/√2 of the length of each side of the square. It has been called the "Golden Rectangle" because of this characteristic. In fact, if we continue this process on for as long as we want, we will find that every single rectangle created from a golden rectangle will also be a golden rectangle itself! The same process can be done with squares, pentagons, dodecahedrons and so on as well. The Mona Lisa is painted according to the golden ratio, which is said to be aesthetically pleasing. This proportion can also be found throughout the human body. The golden rectangle is one of the most common shapes found in nature. It is a rectangle that has dimensions that are in the proportion of 1:0.618. The ratio 1: 0.618 is called the golden ratio because it is said to be aesthetically pleasing. The golden rectangle can be used to solve many geometric problems, such as creating a square equal to a given rectangle, or determining the area of a rectangle with given side lengths. Leonardo Da Vinci was very interested in mathematics, geometry and proportion throughout his life, so it makes sense that he would incorporate the golden ratio into his art.

Learn From Leonardo Da Vinci's Notebooks

Leonardo Da Vinci was more than just an artist. He was also an inventor. His notebooks are filled with sketches of his ideas like the helicopter, parachute, calculator, and even the tank. Leonardo da Vinci is considered one of the most innovative people of all time. He transcended the traditional boundaries of art and science. He was one of the great minds in history to leave behind an incredible body of work that is still influential today. For hundreds of years, artists have studied his work for inspiration and musicians have drawn inspiration from his life story. Today we'll look at some things you can learn from his notebooks that you can apply to your own life.

Leonardo da Vinci is known for his world-class paintings.

Although da Vinci is known for his artistic abilities, fewer than two dozen paintings attributed to him exist. One reason is that his interests were so varied that he wasn’t a prolific painter. Da Vinci’s most famous works include the “Vitruvian Man,” “The Last Supper” and the “Mona Lisa.” Da Vinci was born in Italy in 1452. His father was a lawyer, but da Vinci left home at age 15 without completing an apprenticeship in painting or sculpting. He spent the following 6 years traveling around Italy to study anatomy, mathematics, science, music and art. While in Florence, he became fascinated with the field of engineering and made many studies of machinery. He became a well-known artist by age 30. During this period, he painted the “Last Supper” and completed work on what would become perhaps his best-known work, the “Mona Lisa.” He also began studying human anatomy through autopsies and dissections.

Oil painting reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci