Born on 15 April 1452, Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian renaissance man. His broad and comprehensive knowledge made him famous among the netizens. He was a Scientist, Painter, Mathematician, Sculptor, Inventor, Engineer, Writer, Harmonist, and a skilled machinist. Moreover, he had incredible wisdom in anatomy, geology, astronomy, history, and botany. What makes him unique is that Leonardo da Vinci had no schooling in his lifetime.
Leonardo da Vinci was ambidextrous. Only 1% of the world’s population is truly ambidextrous, that is, they can use their nondominant hand with the equivalent skill. It is believed that he used to write from one hand and draw from the other. In addition to that, he was a splendid Mirror Writer. The reason behind his mirror writing is still unknown, but many speculated that da Vinci wanted to hide his scientific researches from the powerful Roman Catholic Church.
Leonardo gained interest in painting at an early age. He was trained under Andrea del Verrocchio, a well-known Italian painter and sculptor, for 5 years. Afterwards, he moved to Milan in 1482 where he spent 17 years of his lifetime. He was documented in the register of the royal household as the painter and engineer of the duke. During their time in Milan, he painted the historic The virgin of the Rocks twice, initially in the Louvre, Paris, and the second version in the National Gallery because the authority denied paying adequately for it. Furthermore, he painted the Last Supper in 1495.
While talking about art, how can we forget about the great Mona Lisa?
The Mona Lisa was painted in 1503 in the Louvre, Paris as a portrait of a noblewoman, Lisa Gherardini(Lisa del Giocondo). It is known to be the most popular and the most visited in the world.
Leonardo wrote a notebook called Codex Leicester also known as Codex Hammer is a collection of his scientific works and ideas which include his perception towards nature. It also contains numerous aspects of cosmology, geology, astronomy, meteorology. Codex Hammer likewise has about 350 sketches made by da Vinci. In 1994, Bill Gates negotiated the Codex hammer for $30 million at the auction. Bill Gates through Codescope, which is a piece of software, was able to translate the Codex Leicester into English and understood Leonardo’s work.
Leonardo da Vinci was an ethereal scientist. He gave the phenomenon of Scattering of light as the reason the sky appears blue 500 years ago. Because of his intellectual insight, he proposed the concepts of the tools like a parachute, helical aerial screw (the helicopter), barrelled weapon(an automatic weapon), diving equipment, calculators, self-propelled cart (the car), etc. Similarly, in his painting the Vitruvian Man, he analysed the proportions of the human body. Besides, he is often credited for the discovery of contact lenses as referred to in his book Codex of the eye, Leonardo da Vinci was indeed ahead of his time.
On 2 May 1519 at the age of 67, he left this world, leaving his aura of learning, curiosity, and novelty behind which made him the greatest of all time. His last words on his deathbed were,
“I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.”