The question I have asked myself and asked myself to investigate is ‘Why is Leonardo da Vinci considered to be the renaissance man?’, I’m very interested in his work regarding his inventions ; his way of painting. His inventions have extremely influenced society much so that some inventions today are revolved around his ideas. I want to historically investigate Leonardo because he had a broad intellectual amount of significant inventions and drawings and accomplished in areas of both the arts and sciences.
The definition of a “Renaissance man” can be found as; ‘Renaissance man, also called Universal Man, Italian Uomo Universale, an ideal that developed in Renaissance Italy from the notion expressed by one of its most-accomplished representatives, Leon Battista Alberti, that “a man can do all things if he will.” The ideal embodied the basic tenets of Renaissance humanism, which considered man the centre of the universe, limitless in his capacities for development, and led to the notion that men should try to embrace all knowledge and develop their own capacities as fully as possible.’ The editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, (2012) Renaissance Man Internet. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Available from: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Renaissance-man. This definition can be directly applied to LDV (Leonardo Da Vinci) as he is accomplished in all areas of art and invention as listed below.
LDV had many ideas not heard by man but in many of his notebooks, he filled dozens of secret notebooks with inventions, observations and theories about pursuits from aeronautics to anatomy. In his time his contemporaries often did not fully appreciate the combination of intellect and imagination that allowed him to create, inventions such as the bicycle, the helicopter and an airplane based on the physiology and flying capability of a bat.
LDV was known to start projects and paintings but by having so many interests, he quickly failed to complete a considerable number of them. If he stuck to his projects and kept completing them who knows what he could have completed and discovered, he could have invented projects years before their time.
The notebooks are housed today in museum collections after having been scattered after his death. The notebooks in museums today contain da Vinci’s anatomical studies of the human skeleton, muscles, brain, and digestive and reproductive systems, which brought new understanding of the human body to a wider audience. However, because they weren’t published in the 1500s, da Vinci’s notebooks had little influence on scientific advancement in the Renaissance period.
LDV’s early influence into creative arts can be recognised when his father asked him to draw a painting on a round plaque for Vasari, a 16th century biographer of Renaissance. LDV responded by painting snakes spitting fire which was later sold to the Duke of Milan.
At the age of 14, LDV was apprenticed to one of the most known renaissance artists, Verrocchio. Verrocchio’s workshop was one of the most influential workshops in the Renaissance Era with such artists as Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Botticelli, and Lorenzo di Credi, Leonardo as such an early age would be have exposed to a vast range of technical skills. Much of the painted production of Verrocchio’s workshop was done by his students. According to Vasari, Leonardo collaborated with Verrocchio on his Baptism of Christ, which was kept in the workshop.
At the age of twenty, Leonardo qualified as a master in the field of medicine, but even after his father set him up in his own workshop, his attachment to Verrocchio was such that he continued to collaborate with him on many paintings.
After his master qualification, He spent nearly twenty years in Milan, working on a variety of architectural and military projects. Not only did he paint the masterpieces Virgin of the Rocks and The Last Supper during these years, he also completed a sizable portion of a treatise on painting and prepared the foundation for proposed texts on anatomy, architecture, and mechanics. After Milan fell to French forces in 1499, Leonardo returned to Florence, serving as Cesare Borgia’s chief architect and engineer from 1502 to 1503.
Using all this research and information we can see that LDV had accomplished a lot of creative arts and inventions, he had done everything that required him to be called the renaissance man in a time where culture and creative arts blossomed into what we have today. Even though Leonardo did not present his philosophical thoughts and views in an organized manner, but rather dispersed them throughout the Notebooks, critics have attempted to discern whether a guiding philosophy or a philosophical “system” can be found in Leonardo’s work. Most people, attempt to explain why Leonardo is not often viewed as a philosopher because of the quantity of notes and observations Leonardo left, as well as the disorganized way he left them, call into question the nature of Leonardo’s philosophical thinking.