Leonardo da Vinci: An Introduction

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Leonardo da Vinci Introduction Leonardo da Vinci is among the most well known artists, designers, engineers and innovators in the history of the world. He may in fact be the most revered and studied artist / inventor of all time, due to his creative genius and his knack for originality in thinking and design. This paper reviews the impact that Leonardo has had on civilization since his remarkable career ended upon his death in 1519. Leonardo's Legacy Leonardo's birth (1452) came just two years prior to the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg. As he matured and began painting, he wanted his drawings to be printed, but the printing press in those years was not able to deal with the ""¦complex technical and scientific drawings" he had created by the tens of thousands (Veltman, 2008, p. 381). It wasn't until after Leonardo's death that the printing technology advanced to the point of being able to reproduce the rough sketches and "carefully composed presentation drawings" (Veltman, 381). Still, over the next five hundred years or so, Leonardo's drawings, notebooks and art have been passed from hand to hand and for the most part preserved. While Leonardo's most famous works Mona Lisa and the Last Supper have put his brilliant artistic skills in display for myriad generations of critics and art collectors, it has only been over the past fifty years or so that ""¦our understanding of Leonardo's engineering activities has increased considerably" (Veltman, 383).
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