Essay on Leonardo: Renaissance Man

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Leonardo

Leonardo da Vinci is the personification of the achievements of the Renaissance. A man of great intellect and artistic creativity, he remains a symbol of learning and culture today, maintaining a role in even pop culture. People continue to be intrigued by the man who not only painted gorgeous and delicate portraits but also composed sketches of the world around him that reveal an understanding above most of his time. Leonardo was deeply interested in the scientific processes of nature and had a strong desire to illuminate the inner workings of the world. It was this natural curiosity and appreciation for the intricate secrets of the physical world that allowed him to paint so beautifully. In his brilliant mind, art and
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In the Renaissance, the subjects were not seen as wholly separate as they are now. An artist had to also be an intellectual in order to create truly inspirational works of art, and a scientist had to have an eye for beauty in order to appreciate his studies and apply them to everyday life. When da Vinci claimed that he was a scientist rather than an artist, he was also trying to elevate the role of artist in society. Unlike the Middle Ages, when artists were seen as skilled craftsman, the Renaissance ushered in an era when artists became intellectuals equal in status to those who commissioned their work. Da Vinci was a scholarly scientist first, striving to understand the natural order of things around him, and this influenced his art in marvelous ways. Leonardo da Vinci was a master at both sides of the spectrum, and his melding of science and art can be clearly seen in all of his works, especially in sketches such as Embryo in the Womb and the Vitruvian Man, as well as his paintings Saint Jerome and Lady with an Ermine.

Leonardo’s many sketches reveal his thoughts on everything scientific; his notebooks are full of diagrams and notes written backwards. Embryo in the Womb is shows da Vinci’s interest in the beginning of life. He sketched a fetus curled up in a uterus, which is cut in half and peeled away to reveal what is inside. This sketch shows that although da Vinci’s scientific findings

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