Leonardo Da Vinci – The Mysterious Man

Leonardo Da Vinci was a polymath. He mastered a myriad of fields, and his ideas were way ahead of his times. He was mysterious and remote. His life was secretive and has aroused many controversies. Even today, his works and paintings leave the researchers perplexed.
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Here are some interesting facts known about him:
1. He was an illegitimate son
He was the son of a notary, Piero da Vinci and a peasant, Caterina. He spent his first five years with his mother, then went on to live with his father. He is said to have close relations with his father.
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2. Leonardo did not receive formal education
He did not go to any university. Reading, writing and mathematics were something he learned at home. He sought knowledge for himself either from books or by observing his surroundings. His learning was self-guided and he had diversified interests. He was an apprentice under an artist name Verrocchio.
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3. He was a Renaissance man
He was exceptionally good at many fields. He was a painter, artist, engineer, architect, geologist, scientist, inventor, cartographer, anatomist, botanist and writer. He is known to be the father of paleontology, ichnology and architecture.
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4. His master gave up painting after he saw Leonardo paint
In 1469, Leonardo attended a workshop of Verrocchio. Leonardo helped his master finish a portrait on “The Baptism of Christ”. Rumors have it that Leonardo drew such a beauteous angel in this portrait that Verrocchio gave up painting.
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5. He was the greatest artist of all times
His masterpieces include – Last Supper, Vitruvian Man and Mona Lisa. He was cryptic with his paintings. It is believed that he painted secret symbols and codes in his works as if mocking the viewer. There are many myths about Mona Lisa and many of his paintings. He composed and performed with instruments he invented himself.
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6. He maintained sketched and notes of his great inventions
He was a keen observer and was curious about the workings of nature. He invented the submarine, glider, tank, ornithopter, diving suit, self-propelled cart and an armored robot about 500 years ago. He made notes about all his inventions but never published them. But his remarkable work was so ahead of time that most of his inventions were reinvented all over again centuries later.
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7. Indeed, a mysterious man
There is no evidence of him between the years 1476 to 1478. He practically vanished for these two years.
Many of his paintings and inventions were unfinished. He was restless and often skipped from one work to another.
He was handsome, athletic and strong. He is believed to have bent horseshoes with one hand.
He had peculiar sleeping schedules. He slept for only two hours a day.
He was a vegan and often released caged birds from captivation.
He never had any long relationship with any woman and was charged with sodomy. Many historians confirm him to be homosexual.
He performed 30 dissections of human corpses in order to study anatomy. This was a crime in that period.
After his death, he left behind 6,000 journals containing his personal messages.
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All his brilliant ideas would have revolutionized the world then but they were lost to science for two hundred years. Astonishingly, only one-third of his work has been retrieved till date.
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