11 things you didn’t know about Leonardo da Vinci

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Annunciations drawn by Leonardo

Knowledge can be gained at any age. After having a detailed study on topics there are things unknown to us. So, we at Abirpothi present before you the lesser known facts about artists around the world.

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci- presumed self portrait

Leonardo da Vinci, painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, and engineer whose skill and intelligence, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal was born on April 15, 1452. One of the most famous artists of all time, he did not apply himself to higher mathematics—advanced geometry and arithmetic—until he was 30 years old when he began to study it diligently. The Italian also became known for his notebooks, in which he made drawings and notes on a variety of subjects, including anatomy, astronomy, botany, cartography, painting, and paleontology. From this genius sprang many an icon that remains indelibly etched in the aesthetic consciousness of the human race even today, centuries down the line. Despite having many lost works and less than 25 attributed major works (including numerous unfinished ones), da Vinci created massively influential paintings in Western art like the Mona Lisa, his magnum opus and best-known work, often regarded as the world’s most famous painting.

11 lesser-known facts about Leonardo da Vinci

  1. Pink is the favourite colour of Leonardo da Vinci.
  2. Leonardo da Vinci designed a tank for war more than 400 years before its invention.

    A tank drawn by Leonardo
  3. While writing on the flight of birds, he recalled as an infant when a kite came to his cradle and opened his mouth with its tail; commentators still debate whether the anecdote was an actual memory or a fantasy.
  4. Guinness World Records lists Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci as having the highest value for painting insurance ever. On December 14, 1962, the Mona Lisa has a value of one hundred million dollars. In 2018, considering inflation, the value of 1962 would be around eight hundred and thirty million dollars.
  5. He was arrested on allegations of sodomy, a crime punishable by death in Florence in the 15th century.
  6. Leonardo da Vinci was asked to paint an angel while studying art by his mentor, Andrea del Verrocchio. Andrea del Verrocchio decided not to paint again after seeing the painting.
  7. He was left-handed and always wrote in mirror handwriting, perhaps to guard his ideas from intellectual thieves.
  8. Leonardo conceptualized and sketched the first flying machines, which included the working sketches of a parachute, a helicopter, a hang glider, and an airplane.

    Flying machines drawn by Leonardo
  9. The first ever humanoid robot was constructed in the 15th century by Leonardo da Vinci. This, he had actually built and was used to entertain people. His notes have been used by NASA to design planetary exploration robots.
  10. As a cartographer (a maker of maps), Leonardo made several maps of different regions. However, the map that he made of the Commune of Imola in the Italian province of Bologna, is regarded as one of the most accurate maps of the region to date.

    Map of Imola drawn by Leonardo
  11. The last words of Leonardo da Vince were, “I have offended God and mankind. My work did not reach the quality it should have”.

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