Happy Birthday to Leonardo da Vinci

da Vinci's self-portrait in red chalk, Circa 1512-1515 Leonardo da Vinci was born at Anchiano, Italy on this day in 1452, the illegitimate son of Ser piero da Vinci. He was apprenticed to the artist Andrea del Verrocchio, but soon developed his own style which became the High Renaissance standard when Michelangelo and Raphael adopted it twenty years later. His primary work was painting, but his imaginative and inventive mind let him also serve, at various times, as an inventor, scientist, engineer, architect, sculptor, musician, mathematician, anatomist, astronomer, geologists, biologist, and philosopher. He wrote the first textbook of human anatomy and was the first to comprehend that the light of the moon was reflected sunlight. He flitted from one thought to another with great speed, finishing very little, the ultimate poster child for Attention Deficit Disorder, but I'm not sure there has been another human mind of such insight and range.

I have always admired da Vinci’s, and had the opportunity while stationed in Europe to see many of his great works, including the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper.

Along with his paintings, da Vinci is also often quoted, and some of his more memorable quotes are below:

“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.”

“Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.”

“I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have.”

“Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind; large ones weaken it.”

“The supreme misfortune is when theory outstrips performance.”

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

  All from Leonardo da Vinci , 1452 – 1519

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James A. Restucci is the author of this blog. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Internal License.

4 Responses to Happy Birthday to Leonardo da Vinci

  1. TVNews says:

    I get it!

  2. EagleWatch says:

    Thought you might like that. Most people who have never dealt with economists don’t get it.

  3. jimr says:

    hehe [:)] I like it!

  4. EagleWatch says:

    Leonardo’s “supreme misfortune” reminds me of the story about two economists walking on campus when they witnessed an unusual event. One turned to the other and said, “that was interesting … I wonder if it works in theory”