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Leonardo da Vinci History - Essay Example

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Name of the of the Concerned Professor History and Political Science 30 May 2012 Leonardo da Vinci Though Leonardo da Vinci is best known to the world as the painter of Mona Lisa, The Last Supper and Madonna of the Rocks, the fact is that Leonardo was an astutely versatile personality and a man of many talents…
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Leonardo da Vinci History Essay
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Download file to see previous pages One of the quintessential aspects of Leonardo da Vinci’s artistic and scientific acumen was his aspiration to learn from nature, to imitate it and then to move ahead to conquer it. Indeed, Leonardo da Vinci was an exceptional personality who left his indelible mark on the ages to come. Leonardo da Vinci could indeed be called a Renaissance man in the true sense of the word. Right from an early age, Leonardo had access to the scholarly texts owned by his family and friends (Clark 3). He was indeed mesmerized by the natural beauty of his homeland Tuscany that motivated and inspired him (Clark 3). He was also influenced by the painting traditions prevalent in his times. At the young age of 15 Leonardo was apprenticed to the renowned artist of Florence, Andrea del Verrocchio (Clark 5). Leonardo started exhibiting his natural aptitude for art at a very early stage of his apprenticeship at Verrocchio’s workshop (Clark 5). In the quest for better climes, Leonardo entered the service of the Duke of Milan in 1482. It was during his 17 year stay in Milan that Leonardo achieved the heights of artistic and scientific achievement (Clark 37). At Milan Leonardo not only spent his time painting and sculpting, but also designed machines, buildings and weapons for the Duke (Clark 38). Sometime in 1490 Leonardo developed the habit of noting his observations in meticulously illustrated notebooks filled with varied themes like painting, architecture, mechanics and human anatomy (Clark 56). Once he left Milan, Leonardo spent the next 16 years travelling throughout Italy and working for varied masters (Clark 28). In the period 1513 to 1516, he served the Pope at Rome (Clark 163). As already said, Leonardo was a Renaissance man, an age which starkly shunned other worldliness and laid stress on the satiation of human thrust for knowledge through the study of nature, art and science. Hence, in consonance with the essential spirit of his age, there was no subject that escaped Leonardo’s interest and no discipline which he could not master. Leonardo’s studies spanned across a wide range of subjects like nature, human anatomy, architecture, mechanics, aeronautics, geometry, civil engineering, public administration and what not (McCurdy 34). The sketches in Leonardo’s notebooks contain elaborate details of flying machines, advanced weaponry, submarines, naval floats, war vehicles like tanks and varied combat accessories (McCurdy 39). True to the spirit of Renaissance, Leonardo’s workshop at Milan was a veritable hive of students, apprentices, men of learning and luminaries of his age. The very same restlessness and curiosity that was the hallmark of the age of Renaissance also inculcated in Leonardo a predilection for not being able to focus on one thing for a long time. That is why he left many of his paintings incomplete (McCurdy 30). Renaissance was not only a time of artistic and cultural revival, but was also marked by political effervescence. Respect, affluence, talent and political and social influence were the salient human aspirations of those times and Leonardo was certainly not impervious to such influences. At the same time Leonardo also imbibed the hunger for scientific and spiritual clarity that defined the conscience of Renaissance. His works are a veritable testament to this fact. Some of the salient themes that could be traced in Leonardo da Vinci’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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