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Leonardo, Artist and Scientist
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Leonardo, Artist and Scientist

Credit: Leonardo da Vinci
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mona_Lisa,_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_retouched.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Tourists racing through the Louvre Museum so that they can get to the rest of Paris nearly always stop with awe at the Mona Lisa. Known more for his art than his science, Leonardo da Vinci was fascinated by both.

Why It Matters

Credit: Leonardo da Vinci
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Studies_of_the_Arm_showing_the_Movements_made_by_the_Biceps.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Studies of the Arm drawn by Leonardo da Vinci [Figure2]

  • Leonardo is known as an Italian Renaissance polymath, who studied across many subject areas. He was one of the first.
  • Leonardo began the practice of understanding anatomy, out of curiosity, but these studies also influenced his art.
  • Five centuries after his death, we continue to appreciate da Vinci’s art and his scientific accomplishments.

Show What You Know

With the link below, learn more about Leonardo da Vinci. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What is a Renaissance man? Why does Leonardo deserve that title as much as anyone?
  2. Why did Leonardo have so little impact on the scientific thought of his time?
  3. What was Leonardo’s idea for how people should try to understand nature?
  4. How did Leonardo mix his two passions: art and science?
  5. What can we learn from Leonardo today?

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