Leonardo Da Vinci’s Contributions Free Essay

Leonardo Da Vinci took his first breath in 1452, in the month of April. This was near a town called Vinci which sits 15 miles in the Western part of Florence in Italy. Leonardo’s father, Ser Piero of Vinci was a barrister but his mother was a peasant girl called Caterina (Clayton & Philo 8). Being an illegitimate son, Leonardo was then raised at his grandfather’s house. Much of his life before the age of 20 years is not majorly known. However, both of his parents were married off to different people and Leonardo got less time to see them, as his father was busy practicing law in Florence. At the age of 7, Leonardo had already learned to sketch simple drawings which amazed both his uncle and his grandfather. It was thus no big issue when his uncle took him to a priest to teach him how to read and write (Stanley 15). This paper analyses Leonardo Da Vinci’s influences in the world and the way he used his talent in art to be the most renowned engineer in the world.

Despite learning, Leonardo’s arithmetic skills were not at the best. Similarly, despite learning some Latin, Leonardo was never proficient in it considering that Latin was the widely used language in science. Being an illegitimate son, Leonardo could not join his father in practicing law. He then trained as a painter and by the year 1472, he worked in a painters’ company based in Florence. He worked in Verrocchio’s Company of St. Luke studio as a painter, where most of his works were owned by the company while some, like the “Annunciation”, was his private paintings. One of his famous oeuvre while working at Verrocchio’s workshop was “Uffizi” which was a painting of a head of an angel being baptized. Leonardo took part in most of the sculptural and architectural works that emanated from Verrocchio’s studio (Clayton & Philo 9). No evidential prove exists that supports any possibility of him pursuing any of his scientific researches which later dominated the later portion of his life.

At his tender age, Leonardo Da Vinci exhibited unbridled passion which was later on recognized as a genius. Leonardo was open-minded and had a curious mind which led him to delve into practical solutions that were aimed at solving human and animal difficulties. At the age of 31 in 1483, he relocated to Milan where he gradually broadened his interests to other fields as architecture and engineering. It was then that he took an interest in the theoretic foundation of painting and assembled notes that dealt with this subject (Leonardo). Leonardo was left-handed and used mirror-writing. Leonardo’s view on the painting was to cover any aspect that sought to facilitate artists’ production of oeuvres which as he explained, were true to nature. This field had a large potential scope which therefore drove him to experiments of that dealt with the look of a natural and physical world which included optics, geology, botany, and hydraulics. His main subject, however, was the human body. He then began what was to be the most sustained and brilliant subject of his various researches in the scientific field, writing on anatomy (Clayton & Philo 9).  

Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawings on anatomy became the most insightful attainments of the Renaissance science (Mihai Andrei). Leonardo was hugely intrigued by the structure of the human body and as a novice, he mostly dealt with the human anatomy but later on, his interests expanded to the fully-fledged field of research in the human form.  His initial ventures in the area of anatomy were not fully focused as such since he wanted to explain all characteristics of the human body which were not limited on just the structure but further on conception and development, emotive expressions, as well as the nature of senses (Clayton & Philo 9). Most of Leonardo’s early drawings that covered human anatomy were derived from natural wisdom, dissecting of animals, and sheer speculation (Clayton & Philo 10). Leonardo’s remarkable drawings in human anatomy majorly entailed the muscle and skeletal structures and later on, he explored further studies of the interior body parts such as the brain, the lungs, and the heart.

Leonardo Da Vinci possessed a knack for combining anatomic and physiological functionalities in his research. Not long before, with the aid and directions of doctors, he gained an instrumental insight and knowledge concerning the human body parts. This enabled him to draw many body parts with an unrivaled skill. Those parts included the entire human skeleton, skull, vertebral column, thorax, and abdomen (Clayton & Philo 10). The drawings was an entire set of hind and rear visions that were labeled well and sketched with unrivaled skills. His anatomic works had notes and comprehensive details of the organ that was under investigation and the details of the drawings were a vital basis for the works of succeeding scientists (Jakab). Leonardo’s contributions in anatomy by drawings were a combination of talent in art and scientific prowess that became the foundation for present-day scientific research and teaching.

In the early 30s of Leonardo’s life when he was in Milan at the service of the Ludovico Sforza who was the Duke at the time, he designated military devices for his master; the Duke. He came up with canal equipment and new fortification designs for Milan while painting some of his oeuvres such as “the Madonna of the rocks”. Many consider his “The Last Supper”, a detailed description of Jesus and his disciples during their final feast before Jesus’s capture and crucifixion as Leonardo’s magnum opus of the period. This drawing is considered one of the best paintings in history and has been pursued by many other artists. Milan was invaded by French armies in 1499, forcing Leonardo to go back to Florence from where he painted his very legendary painting; “The Mona Lisa”, a portrait of a damsel named Lisa del Giocondo, her last name being also used to refer to the painting. This painting has constantly captivated people for years (McNeese 20).

The notebooks commonly known as codices which Leonardo wrote were filled with drawings of invention models of a simple-helicopter, glider, parachute, firearm, the armored automobile. Later on in 1506, when Leonardo went back to Milan to serve Louis XII, he continually made engineering designs where in six years later, he made a design of a church (McNeese 20). Perhaps the potential of a human mechanical flight can be considered the one subject among the many that Leonardo investigated which excited him the most. He came up with over 35,000 words and five hundred drawings that dealt with flying equipment, nature of airspace, as well as the flying of birds. Guided by his earlier ventures in the military knowledge, his then delved into the aerial reconnaissance. His study in the field was based on observation and emulation of the natural flight of a bird. Leonardo recorded the results of his examinations in a collection he called “Codex on Flight of Birds” (Jakab)

Many of the aeronautic drawings and results that Leonardo came up with were ornithopters which were machines that utilized flapping wings as a way of lifting and propelling itself. Leonardo sketched such equipment that had the pilot vertical and upright to balance the machine. He further sketched flapping wings methods and how to achieve the same. Leonardo’s Codex elucidates the critical model of how the center of gravity and lifting pressure are related in the wings of birds. He uses the flight of birds to model a plane. Leonardo then conceptualizes air being a fluid which became the basis for the aerodynamics sciences. This model was used by the Wright Brothers as they built the first flying machine. Leonardo’s concept in the codex is what Newton used in developing his theory of gravity (Jakab)

As an architect, Leonardo worked in Milan Cathedral. This is where he made a proposition to the Sultan of Ottoman in 1502, of a bridge that was supporting itself across the Gulf of Istanbul in the 15th century (Sniderman). Whilst fellow architects at the time questioned the viability of such projects, Leonardo pursued it with passion. Basing on Leonardo’s proposed model, the authorities of Norway in 2001 built a bridge though on a smaller scale but the success of the bridge led to a full implementation of Leonardo’s age-old dream of a bridge connecting the Gulf of Istanbul. In addition, Leonardo’s scheme of bending wooden planks to form arcs has influenced the modern bridge builders. Leonardo invented a method of notching wood to avoid split and interlocked bents. About 300 years after the death of Leonardo Da Vinci, bridge constructors from Switzerland utilized his technique in making arched wooden bridges (Gross et al. 45).

Further in engines and gears, Leonardo devised a simple engine which functioned using flywheel and crank. Leonardo’s drawings solved the engine making process since he built a big wheel which he called a flywheel that had a great angular force which helps in steading the spinning of a shaft. He also created a system used to lift heavy loads which are used by construction managers to enhance safety that helps in ensuring that once a load has been lifted it does not fall down (Leonardo Da Vinci: The Engineer). Most of Leonardo’s ideologies were much advanced for the 15th and 16th centuries and were thus viewed as impossible to create owing to the low technological know-how and ability during his lifetime. As evidenced by the bridge in Norway, his designs were applicable. Leonardo’s hang-glider model has been used in the modern world to build working devices and many of his innovations are applied by men in daily lives such as his scissors and parachutes (Gross et al. 45).

Leonardo Da Vinci’s contributions in the design and building of bridges, canals, aeronautical designs, gear systems, automobile parts, and engines, as well as human anatomy have proved significantly useful for human beings. As a prolific innovator and engineer, Leonardo was well far ahead and advanced of his time (Leonardo Da Vinci: The Engineer). His contributions in art and philosophy have guided many other individuals who have pursued that path. Even though many of his discoveries and innovations may not be have been found or attributed to him, he has considered the ideal engineer since his far-sighted innovations entailed theories that address the modern and future human problems. The inventions that Leonardo drew are problem-solving and with basis on observing and a great deal of thinking which make him be the world’s most renowned engineer.