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Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop (Florence, 16th century)

Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop (Florence, 16th century)

Visit the workshop of the Renaissance polymath and his most influential inventions and works of art.

Visual Arts

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Works of art



The polymath




The turn of the 15th and 16th centuries brought major changes in history, so it is rightly considered the dawn of the Modern age. Leonardo da Vinci, the archetypal Renaissance Man, also lived in this period.

This polymath, who made his mark both as an artist and an inventor, worked in a number of cities during his long and varied career, but his years in Florence were perhaps the most remarkable.
Da Vinci certainly used the ideas of earlier scientists, but most of his inventions and scientific achievements, which were well ahead of his time, stemmed from his observations of Nature. These included his studies of human anatomy based on the dissection of human corpses, which outraged the Catholic church.

Another interesting aspect of Da Vinci’s work as an engineer was his studies of flight, although most of his ideas never left the drawing board. Some of his plans were tested later and it turned out they would never work in practice.

Da Vinci’s work as a military engineer was more practical; most of his war machines were commissioned. He developed a number of ingenious offensive weapons and brilliant defensive machines. Many of these are considered the precursors to modern weapons of war.

But it is not only his contribution to science that made him famous, his fame also rests on his achievements as an artist. Besides his artistic studies and sketches of various topics he was also a painter. Many of his works became legendary, for example the Mona Lisa, one of the best known works in the history of art. The mysterious smile of La Gioconda is a true reflection of the age as well as of Da Vinci’s own life.

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