Leonardo da Vinci was a man of multiple dimensions of talents. Not only was he a painter but he also had impeccable skills as a sculptor, an architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer. His unquenchable curiosity was equaled only by his powers of invention. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived, to which I would personally have to agree.

Main areas of his studies that have taken influence within this works are:

Studies in Flight

Leonardo made “the flight of birds” the basis for his mechanical approach and he studied the function of the wing, the air resistance, the winds and the currents. Leonardo also studied air-resistance, currents, winds and the laws of equilibrium. This intricate and detailed study into the flight of birds has been a reoccurring influence visibly noticeably within the majority of my previous work.

    English: Design for a flying machine Codex Atl...

Studies in the Rules of Proportion

The building blocks of basic geometry underlay the beauty of natural form. Leonardo provided ingenious illustrations for the treatise that his mathematician friend, Luca Pacioli, wrote on the five regular or ‘Platonic’ solids and their variants. He also strove on his own behalf to solve a series of classic problems in flat and three-dimensional geometry. Divine geometry in nature was most apparent in the action of light. Here, all the powers of nature act mathematically and obey the rules of proportion.

Proportion was also expressed in number, most notably in the harmonies of music. Proportional formulas allowed Leonardo to work complex variations on weights suspended from balances and to show why the quest for a perpetual motion machine was doomed to fail.

Anatomical study of the arm, (c. 1510)

 

Studies in Motion

Leonardo’s vision of the natural world was extraordinarily dynamic. Force was the key to the vision. The application of force was necessary for anything to move. Motion gave life to all things but also exercised a huge destructive potential.

The human body was at the center of his vision. Bodily movements expressed the ‘motions of the mind’. These motions were essential for the painting of convincing narratives. Leonardo’s ‘cinematographic’ images of little figures in action portray the continuity of motion in space in a way that no one had captured previously. As an engineer Leonardo’s supreme ambition was to amplify human motion so that man-powered flight might become possible. The key, as always, lay in nature, above all in the study of flying creatures and their anatomy.

 

Rearing horse

 

Studies in the Body and Earth.

The theory of the microcosm and the macrocosm was ancient. It stated that the human body contained in miniature all the operations of the world and universe as a whole. Leonardo wrote of analogies between rocks and bones, soil and flesh, rivers and blood vessels. He spoke of the ‘body of the world’, ‘veins of water’ and the ‘tree’ of blood vessels.

This analogy served as a tool of explanation. He explained that the old are enfeebled because of the tortuous and silted up nature of their blood vessels. He investigated the nature of water in motion and its behavior in the ‘body’ of the earth.

Heart and its Blood Vessels

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