LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519), the great Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mechanician, engineer and natural philosopher, was the son of a Florentine lawyer, born out of wedlock by a mother in a humble station, variously described as a peasant and as of gentle birth.
Again, a peasant of Vinci having in his simplicity asked Ser Piero to get a picture painted for him on a wooden shield, the father is said to have laughingly handed on the commission to his son, who thereupon shut himself up with all the noxious insects and grotesque reptiles he could find, observed and drew and dissected them assiduously, and produced at last a picture of a dragon compounded of their various shapes and aspects, which was so fierce and so life-like as to terrify all who saw it.
In the middle of the neighbouring Piazza della Scala stands Magni's monument of Leonardo da Vinci (1872).
As early as the middle of the 15th century Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) recognized in seashells as well as in the teeth of marine fishes proofs of ancient sea-levels on what are now the summits of the Apennines.
P. Richter's Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (see Bibliography): this work included, besides a history and analytical index of the MSS., facsimiles of a number of selected pages containing matter of autobiographical, artistic, or literary interest, with transcripts and translations of their MS. contexts.
P. 551), Leonardo da Vinci must be considered as the discoverer of capillary phenomena, but the first accurate observations of the capillary action of tubes and glass plates were made by Francis Hawksbee (Physico-Mechanical Experiments, London, 1709, pp. 13916 9; and Phil.
We are suitably impressed that Da Vinci sketched a design for a submarine and a flying machine.
Where every Da Vinci can paint his Mona Lisa and every Dante can write his Inferno.