The person Leonardo da Vinci existed between the years 1452 and 1519. He was the kind of figure that any society would label as a genius without feeling a pinch of jealousy. His mastery of the various sectors of academia earned him the coveted title of “the archetype of the Renaissance Man” due to his extraordinarily unquenchable curiosity and “feverishly inventive imagination”. He had exemplary talents in the various subjects, in all of which he was considered the most talented individual ever seen. In the vast part of his life, he showed incomparable degree of interest in the things; his friends and foes remained confounded as to whether he was a living mystery or just a superhuman. Leonardo remained largely indifferent to these credits, only concentrating on his visions for the world that were perfectly logical and had nothing to suggest as mystery (Brigstoke 2001).
Although he is mostly known for his painting works, Leonardo’s theories left a great impact on other fields including but not limited to the polymath, engineering, sculpturing, architecture, music, science, writing, and even anatomy. He had a humble background, having been born out of wedlock to a peasant woman. He acquired his education at a painting studio in Florentine. On completion he began his works in the town of Milan, later in Rome and Venice. His painting works have remained popular several centuries after his existence, including his portrait of “The Last Supper”, which has been reproduced by various religious groups for the purposes of worship. As a matter of fact, at least fifteen of his paintings still survive to this day; they are still providing the living truth of his exemplary talent in painting.
Leonardo was a man who manifested a great deal of technological ingenuity. At a time when technology was more of a myth than a reality, he was able to conceptualize the structure of a helicopter. This is what left the whole society in awe as to just how imaginative human beings could be. But for him, this was not all he could imagine of, as he also did a lot on what is today known as calculator and solar heated tanks; and it was his rudimentary idea of what geographers now call the plate tectonic theory. However, due to the obvious limits in technology at his time, most of his designs were impossible to construct. Yet still, a few can be said to have found immediate application in the industrial world, particularly his invented mechanical device for determining the tensile strength of metals, especially wires (Masters 1996).
A lot of his works in the fields of anatomy and optics did not find their ways into any publishing house, although they were certainly very significant. According to him, he entered into the field of medical anatomy during his days of apprenticeship with his teacher, who made it mandatory for his students to study anatomy. Due to the artistic nature of his brain, he quickly mastered the topographic anatomy of the human body, including the muscles and the tendons that hold the body structures together. He reached the pivotal part of his success in anatomy when he got a rare chance to perform dissection on human cadavers at the hospitals in Florence, Milan and later in Rome (Brigstoke 2001).
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In spite of his great achievements, Leonardo remained a fine human with who was quite easy to relate.. Although he did not seem to have intimate relations with women, he had time for good female friends like the “two Este sisters”, Beatrice and Isabella. Nonetheless, his great humanity as well as generosity left a mark, especially when he retained his assistant Salai for another thirty years, even though he had made a fool out of himself eloping with quite a sum of money that belonged to their household.
This may not meet the typical pedigree of a perfect life; nonetheless, it is a mark that will remain engraved in the hearts and minds of humans for thousands of generations to come (Winternitz 1982).
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