The Renaissance began in Italy in the fourteenth century and extended in England past the middle of the seventeenth century. Renaissance means “rebirth” and it applied to this time period because it was a period where there was a rebirth of Greek and Latin ideas. Florence was the focal point of intellectual trends and artistic accomplishments and also the home to Leonardo Da Vinci. Da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452. His father, Ser Piero, took custody of him very shortly after he was born because his mother, Caterina Da Vinci remarried and moved to another town.
He came from a small Tuscan town near Florence and lived there until the 1480’s when he left for Milan. From the time he left for Milan he moved from place to place until he died on May 2, 1519. Leonardo Da Vinci was more than just an artist he was a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, architect, botanist, musician, and writer. Since he was so diverse with his abilities he was known as the “genius” of the Renaissance. The things Da Vinci dreamed about doing, and the problems he observed and left in his notebooks were also part of the reason he was known as the genius.
He left sketched ideas of flying machines, submarines, turbines, elevators, and ideal cities. These notebooks seemed to have been seeking to understand the world and showed concerns with mathematics, love for beauty and respect for the natural world. Leonardo Da Vinci made many contributions to society during the Renaissance period because of his variety of abilities. One of the things Da Vinci was known for was being a scientist because his ideas were later used to help understand the human body the way we do today which is why they should have been accepted during his time but they were not.
His drawings were very accurate but because of his unorthodox methods and improper education people rejected his scientific work. If his scientific work had been accepted by the people there could have been a scientific revolution in the sixteenth century. While he was living in Florence, Italy he was given permission by the republic of Florence to use the dead bodies from the hospital of Santa Maria for his studies. He dissected and performed autopsies on these bodies.
The whole goal of the dissections was to figure out what the entire body looked like as well as to determine how muscles and bones functioned. After performing man dissections on men, women, and sometimes fetuses, he ended up with more than 200 pages of anatomical sketches. The people during the time of the Renaissance did not find his works impressive as much as people do in today’s time. They saw his practice of autopsies and dissections disgusting most likely because no other person was doing anything like this during this time period.
Once the Pope found out about Da Vinci’s practices they were outlawed. People also overlooked his works because of his lack of education. Some of his inventions were overlooked as well because the people did not believe any of them were possible. Da Vinci’s scientific findings, engineering innovations, and multiple inventions were all very important, but most of them were overlooked and seen as impossible. Fortunately all his works were not lost forever.
In today’s world Leonardo’s anatomical sketches have been studied and proven accurate during his time period, and most of his engineering innovations and inventions are now considered possible as well. If people had trusted him during his time they could have made many advances earlier on rather than a few decades later. Leonardo’s contributions to art during the Renaissance period were just as amazing as his scientific ones. Leonardo da Vinci was a very talented artist; he painted the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, and many more famous paintings.
Because of his understanding of Linear Perspective, integration of light and shadow, and his understanding of anatomy many of his works were famous. Unlike his findings in the field of science he was accepted as a very talented artist during his time. Many artists after Leonardo tried to recreate his methods in hope to make their paintings more realistic. Leonardo used linear perspective in all of his paintings to make them more life-like and three-dimensional. Along with all his other talents he was one of the first painters to be able to incorporate light and shadows into his paintings.
Because of his well understanding of human anatomy he was also able to make the subjects of his paintings three-dimensional which made him stand out over other artists. Da Vinci’s paintings were different than most others painted during his time. Leonardo’s paintings were three-dimensional and able to represent life like objects compared to the majority of the other paintings of the renaissance period which were flat, and twodimensional, and never very proportional. He was able to change all of this with his new and revolutionary art and scientific methods.