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Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, scientist, and inventor during the Italian Renaissance. He is considered by many to be one of the most talented and intelligent people of all time. The term Renaissance Man (someone who does many things very well) was coined from Leonardo's many talents and is today used to describe people who resemble da Vinci.
Where was Leonardo da Vinci born?
Leonardo was born in the town of Vinci, Italy on April 15, 1452. Not much is known about his childhood other than his father was wealthy and had a number of wives. About the age of 14 he became an apprentice to a famous artist named Verrocchio. This is where he learned about art, drawing, painting and more.
Leonardo da Vinci is regarded as one of the greatest artists in history. Leonardo excelled in many areas including drawing, painting, and sculpture. Although we don't have a lot of his paintings today, he is probably most famous for his paintings and also gained great fame during his own time due to his paintings. Two of his most famous paintings, and perhaps two of the most famous in the world, include the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.
Leonardo's drawings are also quite extraordinary. He would keep journals full of drawings and sketches, often of different subjects that he was studying. Some of his drawings were previews to later paintings, some were studies of anatomy, some were closer to scientific sketches. One famous drawing is the Vitruvian Man drawing. It is a picture of man who has perfect proportions based off the notes from the Roman architect Vitruvius. Other famous drawings include a design for a flying machine and a self portrait.
Many of da Vinci's drawings and journals were made in his pursuit of scientific knowledge and inventions. His journals were filled with over 13,000 pages of his observations of the world. He drew pictures and designs of hang gliders, helicopters, war machines, musical instruments, various pumps, and more. He was interested in civil engineering projects and designed a single span bridge, a way to divert the Arno River, and moveable barricades which would help protect a city in the case of attack.
Many of his drawings were on the subject of anatomy. He studied the human body including many drawings on muscles, tendons, and the human skeleton. He had detailed figures of various parts of the body including the heart, arms, and other internal organs. Leonardo didn't just study the human anatomy either. He also had a strong interest in horses as well as cows, frogs, monkeys, and other animals.
The term Renaissance Man means someone who is good at everything. Leonardo is considered to be the ultimate Renaissance man.
Some people claim he invented the bicycle.
He was very logical and used a process like the scientific method when investigating a subject.
His Vitruvian man is on the Italian Euro coin.
Only around 15 of his paintings are still around.
The Mona Lisa is also called "La Giaconda" meaning the laughing one.
Unlike some artists, Leonardo was very famous for his paintings while he was still alive. It's only recently that we've realized what a great scientist and inventor he was.
John Adams was one of the founding fathers of the United States. He fought for American Independence as a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress. He was a member of the team that worked on the Declaration of Independence and one of only two people who signed the Declaration to later become president (the other was Thomas Jefferson).
John grew up in the English colony of Massachusetts Bay. His father was an influential farmer and craftsman who became Speaker of the Massachusetts Bay legislature. John was an intelligent boy and his father put an emphasis on education. He went to Harvard for college where his father expected him to study to become a minister. John had different ideas, however, and decided to study law. He graduated from Harvard in 1755 and began practicing law in Boston soon afterward.
As Adams practiced law in Boston, he began to have strong feelings about the British rule. He felt that the colonies were not being treated fairly and should become independent from Britain. He became a member of the Massachusetts legislature and then served as their delegate at the Second Continental Congress. While serving on the congress he was a strong advocate of independence for America. He even worked on the Declaration of Independence with Thomas Jefferson.
During the American Revolution, Adams went to Europe to gain funding for the war and secure alliances with other countries for the new American government. He also worked on the Treaty of Paris, along with Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, which finally put an end to the Revolutionary War.