Leonardo Da Vinci: artist, thinker and revolutionary
Ayori Selassie stashed this in Project KDM
In the person of Leonardo, art and science meet and combine to produce work of great genius. Leonardo was a compulsive observer of natural phenomena. This combination of art and science seems to fly in the face of our modern obsession with the division of labour. But in the world of the Renaissance it was fairly normal. Art and science frequently went hand in hand. They were united in technology and certain types of engineering. Leonardo is the perfect example of this unity.
“Nature will be my mistress”, he is said to have exclaimed. And this is what is essential about his art – it is rooted in keen observation and tireless experimentation. It is entirely free from the dead hand of routine and the slavish worship of tradition. In Leonardo’s figures we see the result of painstaking observation of the human anatomy. His writings are impregnated with the spirit of philosophical materialism. For him, the most important book was not the Bible or Aristotle. It was that great and beautiful book of Nature, a book that is open for all those with eyes to see. He wrote:
“Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, simpler or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.”
“Those men who are inventors and interpreters between Nature and Man, as compared with boasters and declaimers of the works of others, must be regarded and not otherwise esteemed than as the object in front of a mirror, when compared with its image seen in the mirror. For the first is something in itself, and the other nothingness. Folks little indebted to Nature, since it is only by chance that they wear the human form and without it I might class them with the herds of beasts.”
Stashed in: Leonardo