Did you know the lips of Mona Lisa supposedly took ten years to make? Leonardo da Vinci was an amazing, multi-talented man. He was born on April 15, 1452 and died on May 2, 1519. Most people only know him as a painter, but in actuality, less than 24 paintings by him exist. In addition to being an artist, he was also a scientist, sculptor, architect, inventor, military engineer, draftsman, and philosopher. He had so many interests because he didn’t produce a vast amount of paintings.
His ideas and body of work have influenced countless artists, making him a leader of the Italian Renaissance. The British Broadcasting Corporation (news magazine) reported that clinical anatomists believe that Leonardo’s anatomical work was hundreds of years ahead of its time. He spent a lot of time on human anatomy. In his lifetime, he had dissected and studied more than 30 bodies creating numerous drawings and documentations including the first correct drawing of the human spine. He also made two of the most well-known paintings in the world: Mona Lisa, and The Last Supper. He designed a tank 400 years before such a thing was actually used, along with other combat weapons. He was fascinated with nature and was intrigued with birds flying so he conceived the helicopter, parachute, landing gear, and glider using his knowledge of the anatomy of a bat. He also invented musical instruments and bridges.
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Da Vinci never received any formal schooling. He was also dyslexic. Leonardo had to balancing between his knowledge and the accepted, strict religious beliefs of the day. If his thoughts caused controversy, he could be accused of witchcraft. When he was 24, he and several other men were arrested for rape accusations. No one testified against them so the charges were dropped, but according to da Vinci’s journals, the allegations were devastating to a man who liked to keep his private life private. According to Live Science, in the article titled Five Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Leonardo Da Vinci, Da Vinci may also have been scared for his life. In 15th century Florence, sodomy was a crime punishable by death. After the case was over, he fled Florence for Milan.
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