The great genius Leonardo
Leonardo Da Vinci … a character so famous and well known, especially for his genius in both scientific and artistic fields. Born in Vinci, in the province of Florence in 1452, he revolutionized both the figurative arts and the history of thought and science. There are some very well known things about the great Tuscan master, others a little less … here are 10 things you may not know about Leonardo da Vinci to satisfy your curiosity about the art world!
Maybe he wasn’t Italian
Hard to say, but probably one of the greatest Italian artists was not exactly Italian. Illegitimate son of Piero da Vinci, a respected notary, and Catherine, probably a native woman of the East. From some studies it was also understood that the painter’s fingerprints show similarities with a widespread type among the Arabs.
He discovered the hearts function
As you will know, Leonardo Da Vinci was a great anatomist. Among his intuitions one of the most ingenious was to understand the function of the heart as a pump, although in his time it was thought to serve only to warm the circulating blood. To remind us of this, some cardiac anatomy structures carry his name, like the “arcuate trabecula of Leonardo“.
He was a vegeterian
The famous scientist loved animals so much that he was a convinced vegetarian: some anecdotes tell in fact that he went around markets with the aim of freeing birds ready for sale from their cages. There was a script by one of his contemporaries, Andrea Corsali, who wrote about Leonardo, saying, “He eats nothing that contains blood”
He exposed Palm readers
A little curiosity is what Leonardo wrote about palm readers being “deceptive”. In the past, the great artist turned to them himself to predict his future, but he went on to realize that this sort of magic was by no means trustworthy. It was enough to compare the hands of some people who had died at the same time to observe that the lines of life did not resemble each other.
He wrote backwards
The great Italian genius wrote backwards, ie from right to left and often from last to first sheet. Probably this little trick was adopted by the famous painter to not reveal secrets to “unauthorized people”. Some even called him “devil writer” for this unusual feature. In fact neurologists reported that it was a habit that Leonardo had had since childhood, very natural for left handed people who are not corrected. He knew how to write in a “normal” way but only if he considered it indispensable.
Was he homosexual?
Some writings reveal that the artist was probably homosexual: there are some papers in a court case where he is accused of sodomy, along with other students at Verrocchio’s workshop. The victim would be Jacopo Saltarelli, an apprentice of only 17 years … Later, they were all released because the complaint was anonymous and as such could not be accepted.
He understood fossils
Leonardo Da Vinci analyzed fossils and realized that they were simply the remains of animals and plants brought to light by the movements of the earth’s crust, even though in those days the knowledge of such phenomena was rather poor.
He understood tree rings
The Tuscan master, thanks to his numerous studies, realized that by counting the growth rings of trees one can determine their age, in a rather simple and fast way especially with young trees.
He was a handsome man
Surely you will know that one of the most important icons in our country was a common man with an atypical intelligence, but you may not know he was a pretty attractive person as well. From the descriptions written in those times, het turns out to be a man:
- athletic and
- very handsome
He kept his hair long and flowing to his shoulders and dressed in lively and youthful manner.
He was very cunning
Often geniuses are thought to be slightly clumsy and to live their lives outside society… In this case it is not so! In fact, Leonardo Da Vinci knew how to put all his skills in the limelight and to take advantage of every opportunity that came to him. An episode that demonstrates this is the letter that Tuscan master presented to Ludovico il Moro, it was a presentation letter written like a curriculum, perfect for the times.
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