Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci

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Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci

(April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519)

1. Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinchi was an Italian polymath, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance man, a man whose unquenchable curiosity was equaled only by his powers of invention. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote".

2. Born the illegitimate son of a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Leonardo was and is renowned primarily as a painter. Two of his works, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, are the most famous, most reproduced and most parodied portrait and religious painting of all time, respectively, their fame approached only by Michelangelo's creation of Adam. Leonardo's drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon.

3. In 1466, at the age of fourteen, Leonardo was apprenticed to one of the most successful artists of his day, Andrea di Cione, known as Verrocchio. Verrocchio's workshop was at the centre of the intellectual currents of Florence, assuring the young Leonardo of an education in the humanities. Other famous painters apprenticed or associated with the workshop include Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Botticelli, and Lorenzo di Credi.[10][13] Leonardo would have been exposed to a vast range of technical skills and had the opportunity to learn drafting, chemistry, metallurgy, metal working, plaster casting, leather working, mechanics and carpentry as well as the artistic skills of drawing, painting, sculpting and modeling. By 1472, at the age of twenty, Leonardo qualified as a master in the Guild of St Luke, the guild of artists and doctors of medicine.

4. Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, the double hull and outlined a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime, but some of his smaller inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded. As a scientist, he greatly advanced the state of knowledge in the fields of anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics.

5. In 1482 Leonardo, who according to Vasari was a most talented musician, created a silver lyre in the shape of a horse's head.

6. Many of Leonardo's most prominent pupils or followers in painting either knew or worked with him in Milan, including Bernardino Luini, Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio and Marco D'Oggione.

7. Renaissance humanism saw no mutually exclusive polarities between the sciences and the arts, and Leonardo's studies in science and engineering are as impressive and innovative as his artistic work, recorded in notebooks comprising some 13,000 pages of notes and drawings, which fuse art and natural philosophy (the forerunner of modern science). These notes were made and maintained daily throughout Leonardo's life and travels, as he made continual observations of the world around him. His notes and drawings display an enormous range of interests and preoccupations, some as mundane as lists of groceries and people who owed him money and some as intriguing as designs for wings and shoes for walking on water. There are compositions for paintings, studies of details and drapery, studies of faces and emotions, of animals, babies, dissections, plant studies, rock formations, whirl pools, war machines, helicopters and architecture.

8. Leonardo's approach to science was an observational one: he tried to understand a phenomenon by describing and depicting it in utmost detail, and did not emphasize experiments or theoretical explanation. Since he lacked formal education in Latin and mathematics, contemporary scholars mostly ignored Leonardo the scientist, although he did teach himself Latin. In the 1490s he studied mathematics under Luca Pacioli and prepared a series of drawings of regular solids in a skeletal form to be engraved as plates for Pacioli's book De Divina Proportione, published in 1509.

9. It appears that from the content of his journals he was planning a series of treatises to be published on a variety of subjects. A coherent treatise on anatomy was said to have been observed during a visit by Cardinal Louis D'Aragon's secretary in 1517. Aspects of his work on the studies of anatomy, light and the landscape were assembled for publication by his pupil Francesco Melzi and eventually published as Treatise on Painting by Leonardo da Vinci in France and Italy in 1651, and Germany in 1724, with engravings based upon drawings by the Classical painter Nicholas Poussin. According to Arasse, the treatise, which in France went into sixty two editions in fifty years, caused Leonardo to be seen as "the precursor of French academic thought on art".

10. A recent and exhaustive analysis of Leonardo as Scientist by Frtijof Capra argues that Leonardo was a fundamentally different kind of scientist from Galileo, Newton and other scientists who followed him. Leonardo's experimentation followed clear scientific method approaches, and his theorising and hypothesising integrated the arts and particularly painting, these, and Leonardo's unique integrated, holistic views of science make him a forerunner of modern systems theory and complexity schools of thought.

11. During his lifetime Leonardo was valued as an engineer. In a letter to Ludovico il Moro he claimed to be able to create all sorts of machines both for the protection of a city and for siege. When he fled to Venice in 1499 he found employment as an engineer and devised a system of moveable barricades to protect the city from attack. He also had a scheme for diverting the flow of the Arno River in order to flood Pisa. His journals include a vast number of inventions, both practical and impractical. They include musical instruments, hydraulic pumps, reversible crank mechanisms, finned mortar shells, and a steam cannon.

12. In 1502, Leonardo produced a drawing of a single span 720-foot (240 m) bridge as part of a civil engineering project for Ottoman Sultan Beyazid II of Istanbul. The bridge was intended to span an inlet at the mouth of the Bosporus known as the Golden Horn. Beyazid did not pursue the project, because he believed that such a construction was impossible. Leonardo's vision was resurrected in 2001 when a smaller bridge based on his design was constructed in Norway.[57] On May 17, 2006, the Turkish government decided to construct Leonardo's bridge to span the Golden Horn.

13. For much of his life, Leonardo was fascinated by the phenomenon of flight, producing many studies of the flight of birds, including his c. 1505 Codex on the Flight of Birds, as well as plans for several flying machines, including a helicopter and a light hang glider. Most were impractical, like his aerial screw helicopter design that could not provide lift. However, the hang glider has been successfully constructed and demonstrated.

(From http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki)

Review what a paragraph is and using the paragraphs 3, 8 and 13 write down a review on Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci as a learner. Build your review on 4 paragraphs including a paragraph-introduction or argument for the choice and a summing up paragraph. The amount of your review signs is 3000.

Paragraph is a distinct section of a piece of writing, usually dealing with a single theme and indicated by a new line, indentation, or numbering.


(Oxford Advanced Learner1s Dictionary of Current English.

Oxford University Press, 1997)

Paragraph (n) is clause, item, notice, passage, section, sentence, subdivision

(Concise Edition Dictionary and Thesaurus, Geddes & Grosset, 2002)


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