The Most Gifted Man Who Ever Lived?Leonardo Da Vinci!

Leonardo Da Vinci

He could draw a leaf or a hand, a fern or a rock, in ways that was never drawn before and magic to behold. No one could ever match his renditions of light and shade, or his genius for investing a flat surface with a scene of haunting mystery. Yes, he was none other than Leonardo Da Vinci ? creator of the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Leonardo Da Vinci was bewitched by everything; a baby?s smile, birds in flight, the pageant of the planets. He loved the human face and form and sketched an absorbing gallery of warriors, crones, old men ? and bodies with the skin peeled off to reveal the architecture of ligaments and muscles.

But Leonardo Da Vinci was far, far more than an artist. He was an Engineer, a musician, an architect, a cartographer, a mathematician. He was an astronomer, a botanist, a zoologist, a geologist, a physiologist. He was the first man to make wax impressions of the brain?s interior, to consider using glass or ceramic models so that the workings of the heart and eye could be understood. He was the first to draw an accurate representation of an opened womb with an embryo inside and the first to investigate why leaves are arranged the way they are around a stem.

In one of his many notebooks, he drew a male figure in a square inside a circle, the legs together, then set apart, the arms horizontal, then at a 45-degree angle. He revealed the span of a man?s outstretched arm is equal to his height. The centre of the circle formed by the extremities of the outstretched limbs will be the navel. The space between the legs...will form an equilateral triangle.

He was the first modern thinker and scientist, for he sought to discover the causes of things by direct observation and experiment. Science, he contended is the knowledge of all things that are possible.

One of the most remarkable things about Leonardo Da Vinci is that he noted that the sun does not move around the earth and that the earth is a star like the moon. Before Galileo, he said falling objects accelerates the speed with distance and suggested that a large magnifying lens should be used to study the surface of the moon. He was a pioneer in optics, in hydraulics, in the physics of sound and the nature of light. Sound moves in waves, he noted ? which is why 2 Church bells, one farther away than the other, struck simultaneously are heard separately. And noting a lag between a flash of lightening and a thunderclap, he concluded that light must travel faster than sound. In his investigations into the circulation of blood, he was able to describe arteriosclerosis which he attributed to lack of exercise.

That is not all. Long before the industrial revolution, in a world that did not even have screwdrivers; he created a monkey wrench, ratchets, jacks, winches, a lathe and a crane that could life an entire Church. He designed a piston that moved by steam pressure and a sprocket chain with a round tooth gear that would not slip. He invented a differential transmission that permitted a cart to take a curve with the inside wheel moving more slowly than the outside wheel. He drew innumerable varieties of pulleys, springs, portable bridges, double deck streets; a device to measure changes in weather, an automatic feed in printing. He invented roller bearings, a scissor that opened and closed with one hand movement and also air inflated skies for walking on water.

He was the first man to recommend that air be harnessed as a source of power. He described an internal combustion engine, an air-conditioning device, a pedometer, an odometer, a hygrometer. He even enumerated the cost benefits of mass production. He was truly the master of all inventions, a well rounded person ever to live. This supreme artist, who called war ?A bestial madness?, served as military Engineer for Cesare Borgia. He invented a machine gun, the tank and the submarine. He created a frogman?s diving suit, the snorkel, a warship with a double-hull. It could stay afloat even after the outside hull was hit.

He was forever fascinated by water; ocean tides and waterfalls and then water breaking against rocks, water in a quite pool, water in a stream and water in a river. He described things no one else had observed before; that the surface of a pond is moved by wind yet the bottom remains still; that rivers run faster near the surface than they do near the bottom; that water never moves of its own volition except when it descends. He designed and supervised the building of canals all around the city of Milan which stands testimony to this day and a feat still praised by Engineers.

In no field was Leonardo Da Vinci more bold and original than in aerodynamics. He said a bird works according to mathematical law and man has the power to reproduce that mechanism. He set caged birds free to study their takeoff, lift and wing spread. His eyesight was phenomenal, for he saw and drew things that were simply not visible to most men ? until high-speed photography ?froze? motion. In the 15th century he invented the glider and the parachute and the helicopter too. He described the value of retractable landing gears and wheels. What a genius the world has witnessed. Unbelievable talent

At an early age he showed extraordinary curiosity and exceptional skill in music, geometry and drawing. At 15 he was apprenticed to the famous painter Verrocchio whom he astounded with his masterful draftsmanship and the luminous beauty of his painting.

By the time he was 28, Leonardo Da Vinci was acknowledged as the greatest of his time ? a period that included great artists like Michelangelo, Raphael and Botticelli.

Leonardo Da Vinci?s famous notebooks were a potpourri of pages of various sizes, left unstitched or bound in small batches.6000 pages have been discovered in collections all over Europe. They are surely the most remarkable record of creativity ever produced by one human being.

Certainly he had an unusual mind and an uncanny ability to see what others did not. But the six thousand pages of detailed notes and drawings present clear evidence of a diligent, curious student-a perpetual learner in laborious pursuit of wisdom who was constantly exploring, questioning, and testing. Expanding our mind is vital to being creative. Investing regularly in learning opportunities is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.


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