Born in Vinci, Italy, an illegitimate son to a peasant woman and a successful notary, he began his life facing hardship and obscurity.
With no privilege of a formal education, Da Vinci launched a self-education program.
He grew up in nature, and began to use his keen skill of observation to learn about the world around him.
He was alive during a tumultuous, yet progressive time for Italy and for the world. Constantinople had just fallen, ending the Eastern Empire, Gutenburg had just invented the moveable type, Italy was experiencing political upheaval.
After spending time in his quaint hometown, he left Vinci, Italy and continued his pursuit of knowledge in Milan, Rome, Bolonga, Venice, and spent his last days in France, where he supposedly died in the arms of King Francois I.
While Italy was experiencing political turmoil, Da Vinci also faced adversity and overcame the trials which he faced. During his life, he suffered a stroke, was accused of being homosexual (which the charges were dismissed), persecuted by some, for being left handed, and overcame the stigma of being an illegitimate son.
War machines from the armored car, firearm with screw elevating gear, machine for stormaing walls, hoist for lifting cannons, eight barreled organ, automatic igniting device, hull rammer, giant cross bow, ballista for hurling stones, scythed chariot, split-trail gun carriage, and many more.
Flying machines such as the aerial screw, device for testing beating wings, flying ship, articulated wing, parachute, anemometer, flapping-wing machine with vertical bearing, wing structure, inclinometer, wing-beating device with a screw and lead screw system, leaf spring engine for flying machine.
Due to his highly inquisitive nature, Leonardo began hundreds of projects to learn about the world around him. His projects were ranging from painting to war machine invention, but never brought many of his projects to completion. Most of his scientific theories and inventions never made it past the notebook stage. However, the ingenuity of his ideas are still being used today. Machines
Work machines-Self propelled car, pillar lifting machine, pile driver, drilling machine, revolving crane, machine for threading screws, machine for making mirrors, machine for making ropes, winged spindle, distiller with continuous cooling system, pulleys, mechanical drum, odometer, gold foraging hammer, fan, rollers for friction studies, machine for digging trenches, and more
Water and Land machines- sluice gate hatch, lagoon dredge, paddle boat, webbed glove, drop-bottom float, floats for walking on water, fast-construction bridge, boat with paddle wheels, diving bell, bilge pump, device for measuring water turning to steam, double hull, auto-feed hydraulic saw, mobile-ram boat (assault battleship).
Leonardo Da Vinci had a strong curiosity and refused to believe what his observations could not prove. For example, through his studies of fossils, he refuted ideas such as the Great Flood from the biblical era of Noah who built the ark.
By his studies refuting the flood, Leonardo also predicted the 20th century idea of plate tectonics by considering the possibility of uplift in mountain building.
It was even suggested that Leonardo conceptualized an idea of evolution, which was not formally researched and published by Charles Darwin until 1859... more than 300 years later!!!
Among the many things that Leonardo Da Vinci accomplished, the facets of his life that may be the most interesting to healthcare workers would be his advances in science, especially anatomy and physiology.
Leonardo Da Vinci was way ahead of his time when it comes to observing and documenting physiological processes and details of anatomy. His analytical mind did not have to deal with the frailty of the human tendency to be squeamish when it came to dissecting plants and animals, even humans!
Through his dissections, he gained understanding of the respiratory system, skeletal and muscle tissues, brain anatomy, and digestive and reproductive systems. He advanced human knowledge and understanding to a new level never before comprehended before that age of Renaissance..
A genius, according to wikipedia.com, is a person with great intelligence, who shows an exceptional natural capacity of intellect, especially as shown in creative and original work. Geniuses always show strong individuality and imagination, and are not only intelligent, but unique and innovative.
Leonardo gained his intimate knowledge of the world despite lacking a formal education and despite facing seemingly insurmountable odds. His work is not only creative and original, but revolutionary.
My personal beliefs on what makes him a genius is the old saying “There is a fine line between genius and insanity.” The fact that he is so good at everything he does, makes him exceptionally smart. His idiosyncrasies (the left-handed mirror script, the manic search for knowledge and understanding, the myriads of unfinished projects), his originality, his breakthrough, almost futuristic thinking is what sets him apart.
Mirror script The adoration of the Magi- another unfinished work of Leonardo Da Vinci Unfinished Da Vinci painting of St Jerome
Leonardo Da Vinci is the perfect embodiment of the survey of humanities.
He expressed his scientific observations flawlessly, with his phenomenal artistic talent. One is able to witness the fondness he has in his heart for art, for beauty, for life... just by looking at the eyes in the subjects of his paintings. His painted subjects always have a softness... a glow about their eyes, a gentleness that only a humanitarian could understand.
His studies in science, math, architecture, botany, even war machines were art to Leonardo Da Vinci. The amount of passion he had for his work is evident, by the scrupulous detail he put forth, and by the beauty that is expressed in his inventions, his notes, and his paintings.