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Leonardo Da Vinci

Date of birth : 1452-04-15
Date of death : 1519-05-02
Birthplace : Vinci, Italy
Nationality : Italian
Category : Historian personalities
Last modified : 2011-09-30

Leonardo Da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". 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". Marco Rosci points out, however, that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time.

Born out of wedlock to 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. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice and spent his last years in France, at the home awarded him by Francis I.

Leonardo was and is renowned primarily as a painter. Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait and The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of all time, with their fame approached only by Michelangelo's Creation of Adam. Leonardo's drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro, textbooks, and T-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number due to his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination. Nevertheless, these few works, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, compose a contribution to later generations of artists only rivalled by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo.

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. He made important discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics, but he did not publish his findings and they had no direct influence on later science.

Leonardo da Vinci was said to have a great love for animals, and his journals further illustrates this. He was a vegetarian, at least in the latter part of his life (we don't have definite proof that he was a strict vegetarian in his early life). He wrote, "The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men." He also remarked, "The smallest feline is a masterpiece."

In the 1480s, Leonardo painted Lady With The Ermine. The Lady in the painting is Cecilia Gallerani, the 17-year-old mistress of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. She carries an ermine for three reasons. First, for the Duke of Milan, having been appointed to the Order of the Ermine by Ferdinand I of Naples, the ermine was the symbol of heraldry on his coat of arms. Second, the ermine was considered to be a symbol of virtue and purity. And finally, it was a play on Cecilia Gallerani's name since the Greek name for ermine is "galee".

In Leonardo's notebooks, he wrote that the ermine eats every other day. Most likely the ermine, an animal related to the sable and weasel, stayed in the studio while the painting was being completed. In the Renaissance period, soft-hair paint brushes were made of ermine tail tips. Brushes were also made from squirrel fur and fastened into goose or hen feathers - another reason the ermine might have been at home in the studio.

Leonardo da Vinci included cats in many of his sketches. On one sheet of animal sketches in his notebook, the artist portrayed more than twenty cats, and one dragon. He drew cats in different poses, alone, with other cats, and being cuddled and held. His sketches are lively and reveal the solemn affection he had for felines.
Throughout the mid to late 1470s, Leonardo worked on a series of different studies relating to the theme of the Madonna and the Christ Child, holding a cat. It was originally thought that no paintings existed beyond his initial studies for these paintings. Recently; however, Madonna with the Cat, which is in the collection of industrialist Carlo Noya in Savona, Italy, was discovered to be a painting by none other than Leonardo.(2) The painting is based on a legend about a cat being born at the same moment as the baby Jesus.

Other sketches for paintings that feature animals and are based on a legend or myth is that of Leda and the Swan. Although no actual paintings exist, there are countless drawings. The story is that Leda was seduced by the God Zeus in the form of a swan and bore two eggs, which resulted in the creation of Helen of Troy with Clytemnestra, and Castor with Pollux.

Although there are countless studies and sketches made by Leonardo, only 13 or 14 actual paintings exist today. One of these is Madonna and Child with St. Anne, painted from 1508 to 1510. The figures depicted all relate to one another, and the baby Jesus is shown tightly holding a little lamb. Da Vinci painted the lamb with sensitivity and detail. The lamb is symbolic of Jesus Christ's sacrificial death for mankind. Leonardo's animal subjects are based on reality and are filled with vitality.
In his unceasing quest for truth, Leonardo explored every branch of the sciences known to his age and proved to be far ahead in many respects in his precise observations, his striving for sound methodology and measurement, and the value he placed on empirical proof. ‘No human investigation', he wrote, ‘can be called true science without going through the mathematical tests… the sciences which begin and end in the mind cannot be considered to contain truth, because such discourses lack experience, without which nothing reveals itself with certainty."

This quote is from a semi-whitewash of a life full of conflict, especially with the church. They should emphasize the oppressive control over thought and creativity the church of Leonardo's day had over all sciences. In fact there was only one science - philosophy which in actual fact was just theology. So Leonardo's words take on a different meaning than they suggest. It is even more important than you might imagine because Leonardo was the head or ‘Nautonnier' of the Priory of Sion. The authors are from Catholic Universities mostly, so we must forgive them when they claim to have fostered Leonardo's genius when in fact they did the opposite and it isn't till near the end of the book they note he was charged with being homosexual by these Inquisitorial suppressors of soul and thought.

There is a whole specialty of study devoted to Da Vinci's work but little truth and a lot of propaganda. Few are they who admit both he and his mentor were alchemists and the horrors of a life hidden behind lies and half-truths that resulted from the fear of being found out. It is a theme of many of the great scientists and their lives, and little credit is given to the courageous men and women who toiled to understand and the truth they shared is available. Why? Do we still fear others might do what they did or think? Think for themselves and question the authority which seeks to credit their approach to knowing.

The Scientific Method of observation and conclusion is said to have been discovered by Bacon. There is some truth to that, but which Bacon? Some say Francis and there is no truth in that even though he pretended to be an alchemist in his Rosicrucian or Masonic circles including John Dee and Ashmolean types. The better scholars attribute it to Roger Bacon who actually was an alchemist and spent a great deal of his life in dungeons after having ferreted himself away in the church as a monk for a long time. Metaphysics and independent thought can be a dangerous business and there are many current authors whose work is relegated to obscurity unless they learn how to appease the ‘normative' or oppressive mindset. The sad part is that there is no benefit to anyone by such oppression. Not only is there abundance and creativity but those who know the soul will not NEED to clothe it in grandiose raiment. They will gladly work for the joy of utilizing their potential for the benefit of mankind rather than seeking to destroy others and life in general.

It is interesting that Napoleon (a Merovingian/Mason) made sure to get all of Da Vinci's work that was around when he conquered Milan, but I there is some of it that wasn't discovered until after that and it is most interesting. Da Vinci was a Johannite like Newton (another alchemist, whose Principiae Mathematica had a brief comment at its' start - ‘This is much more than I should say; and much less than there is!'). Johannites believe the true prophet in Biblical times was John the Baptist and we are continuing to seek other Benjaminite and Masonic connections with him despite a sense that both Jesus and John the Baptist were operating from the same source. Would Napoleon have destroyed any Johannite writings if the Merovingian House of David and Judah or family of Jesus were concerned about Da Vinci's fame and credibility or writings? We cannot say such a thing and we aren't sure John wasn't a favourite of theirs as well.

The troubling thing about this book is the presentation of Da Vinci as a semi-competent who needed a Franciscan monk's help. We like Francis of Assisi and don't doubt the church was watching over Leonardo just as they did all artists who were producing God's work. Yes, the church claimed all creative work was their property! They also controlled education just as they have in many places until this very day. Most likely Luca Pacioli (Franciscan) was under directions to keep Da Vinci in line and to make such things as we will see, remain hidden from the public. Da Vinci was before Galileo and you can be sure he would have met the usual gruesome heretical stake or fire after a few parts were titillated or cut along the way.

These are the words of the Catholic University academic which give a little insight to the conflict Da Vinci faced during these oppressive times when thought was even less well managed than today. "Leonardo and Luca Pacioli worked together for many years, and as we have seen, the intervention of Master Luca was decisive. Nevertheless there existed between the two categories a social and hierarchical conflict, even if no one had ever placed in doubt the supremacy of the liberal arts as the only depositories of true science. And the one who rose up resolutely against the exclusion of the mechanical arts from the sphere of science {Such deceit to call what the church allowed people to think of, as science.}, or as it was then known, ‘philosophy' was Leonardo." (58)

The best part of the whole book for me is the bicycle. It has a chain drive mechanism that looks like a 19th century model of something he would have seen in the future. His representation is not engineered so perfectly that he would have been able to inspect it however. It had no steering mechanism, for example. On top of the original drawing that was discovered long after the death of all parties is a childish drawing of a penis to look like a cat with legs. Still they don't actually use words to say he was ‘gay' and we know he would say something about this if he was alive today. It is a certain thing about propaganda - great people become more manageable after they die - you can ‘spin' their image to your hearts desire. In the case of Jesus they make him over every century! I guess all the priests abusing children across North America and the court awards have made them a little sensitive - can you say risk management? Can you say hypocrites? They still exclude ‘gays' from all sorts of things and marriage is just one of them. Maybe this is the area ‘master' Luca was most instructive to Da Vinci?! It is an area of their expertise but what Da Vinci was able to produce, is not.

"While they recognize the unmistakable nature of this machine, the few scholars who have examined the drawing are decidedly reluctant to admit its antiquity. Since the application of the chain-drive goes back only to the end of the 19th century, they propose a dating of the drawing within the early years of the present century. Such a hypothesis, however, collides with insurmountable difficulties: (1) The page in question remained hidden for almost four centuries, and it is unimaginable that 70 or 80 years ago a boy would have obtained from the directorship of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana the permission to view the codex, detach one or two of the pages, and then draw upon them and glue them back again. (2) Even in that case, he would have drawn a bicycle of a type then existent, not one of wood with wheelbarrow wheels, {And this imaginary child the academics try to say drew the cat/penis, would have been a pretty smart kid to know the name of Leonardo's pupil/model/lover. There is a small matter of his signature.} no means of steering, and the teeth of the central gear so squared off that they could not be fitted to the chain. (3) The odd toothed wheels and the chain coincide exactly with those drawn by Leonardo in Codex Madrid 1, folio 10 recto. (4) We cannot separate the bicycle from the other drawings visible in folios 132 verso and 133 verso of the Codex Atlanticus. Actually they were drawn when the pages were united at the two halves of one page. Reuniting them, we see that another hand has drawn, also in pencil and from left to right, two pornographic drawings obviously meant as a joke, over which, on the right side, is clearly written ‘salaj', that is, Salai, the name of Leonardo's pupil, model and servant…To become a reality, the idea required the final solution of some challenging problems such as the matter of steering and the adaptation of the large squared off teeth with their jutting comers to the links of the chain… Salai entered Leonardo's house in 1490, aged 10."

How did Leonardo draw about half of the design of such as bike? The best answer is that he looked into the ‘Philosopher's Stone' of his patron/alchemist or he developed one of his own like Nostradamus. It is not an easy thing to do, but I think he could have done it. If he actually traveled through time he would have been able to draw a bike and many other things like his famous helicopter. When looking into a ‘Stone' there are many confusing images of possible future and jumbled realities. We know that many within the Catholic Church have studied these things (e.g. Aquinas) and that they know about the ‘Stone'. In recent times a Catholic cleric developed a Chronovisor in conjunction with top physicists including Enrico Fermi, according to one report I have seen.

We know they would have been very concerned about Leonardo telling the world about many things he knew. The Gnostics were heretics because they said things like: ‘The Original Sin that separates us from God is Ignorance!' Who is passing on whether or not you are a heretic because you believe in the possibility of a ‘Stone' today? Yes, most of society! Few have any idea of what an alchemist is or what contributions they've made to humanity, the quantum physicists were called ‘atom-mysticists' when they spoke of the things chaos science and alchemy has studied for over 13,000 years. This is why we don't need an Inquisition. Because the media and education system is more effective!

The titles and grandiloquent appointments of the egotistical chest-beating ecclesiasts who follow in the footsteps of the money- changers whose tables Jesus over-turned in the Roman-backed Temples are so fantastic that any impressionable person can easily think THEY must know! This is the technique of ‘The BIG lie!' If you make an ass of your true self (the soul) by saying you are ‘Holy' and an ‘Emperor', it is no matter. Just continue to add all the nations and states you have under your control. Say you are the sole representative of God on earth, and that the universe revolves around you. It might work as well as saying disease comes from ‘sins and demons' and ‘women are the harbingers of THE Original Sin'. Actually any human is able to know what Jesus called ‘the living father within'. Are we really out of the influence of the ‘Dark Ages'? I'd like to debate that with the Pope or some other proselyte.

Leonardo Da Vinci's Life:

Leonardo Da Vinci is one of the most well known artists today. He was not only an artist though; he was also a scientist and an inventor. His Mona Lisa is probably the most recognized painting ever! Leonardo had a very interesting, busy life.

Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452 in Vinci, Italy which is just outside of Florence. He was an illegitimate son of Ser Piero, a 25 year old notary and Caterina, a peasant girl. Shortly after Leonardo's birth, his father took custody of him. Caterina moved to a nearby town and married another man. Both Leonardo's mother and father continued having children, just not with each other. He ended up having seventeen half brothers and sisters.

While Leonardo was growing up, he was able to read many scholarly texts that his family and friends owned. The city of Vinci also had a very long painting tradition that he was exposed to. At the age of fifteen, Leonardo was apprenticed to Andrea del Verrochio in Florence. He painted many works of art during this period. One of his most popular works during this time was when he painted an angel in Verrochio's "Baptism of Christ". Leonardo's angel was so much better than Verrochio's works that Verrochio resolved to never paint again.

In 1477, Leonardo left the Verrochio workshop and got a place for himself. In 1482, he went into the service of the Duke of Milan. He even abandoned his first commission in Florence, "The Adoration of the Magi", to do this. Leonardo stayed in Milan for seventeen years. During this time he made many artistic and scientific achievements. The Duke had Leonardo paint and sculpt a lot but he also had him design buildings, weapons and machinery. In addition, Leonardo produced many studies on lots of topics, such as flying machines, nature, geometry, municipal construction, mechanics and architecture.

Leonardo was interested in so many different things that he often failed to finish what he started. Many of his paintings are left unfinished. During the seventeen years that he worked for the Duke, he actually only completed six works. Two of the most famous ones are "The Last Supper" and "The Virgin on the Rocks".

Starting in 1490, Leonardo began to write down his studies in illustrated notebooks. His work all falls into the category of four different themes: architecture, painting, human anatomy and the elements of mechanics. Today, these notebooks are very valuable. Bill Gates actually paid thirty million dollars for the Codex Leicester!

After 1499, the Duke fell from power and Leonardo no longer worked for him. Over the next sixteen years, he worked for many different people and traveled all throughout Italy. During this time, he painted the "Battle of Anghiari" and even designed a bridge in Constantinople.

In 1503, Leonardo started working on the very popular "Mona Lisa". From 1513 to 1516, he worked in Rome and did many projects for the Pope. In 1516, he was even offered the title of Premier Painter and Engineer and Architect of the King.

Even though Leonardo suffered from paralysis of his right hand, he could still draw and teach. He also still produced many studies of various topics. Leonardo died on May 2, 1519 in France.

View the full website biography of Leonardo Da Vinci.
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