Leonardo da Vinci
On the Philosophy, Art & Science of Leonardo da Vinci

'Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does Nature, because in her inventions, nothing is lacking and nothing is superfluous.' (Leonardo da Vinci)Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does Nature, because in her inventions, nothing is lacking and nothing is superfluous.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

In dealing with a scientific problem, I first arrange several experiments, and then show with reasons why such an experiment must necessarily operate in this and in no other way. This is the method which must be followed in all research upon the phenomenon of nature. We must consult experience in the variety of cases and circumstances until we can draw from them a general rule that is contained in them. And for what purposes are these rules good? They lead us to further investigations of nature and to creations of art. They prevent us from deceiving ourselves and others by promising results which are not obtainable. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Life, Art & Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci:
A Brief Biography

Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519)

'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ' (Leonardo da Vinci)Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance architect, musician, anatomist, inventor, engineer, sculptor, geometer, painter (and a very cool talented artistic creative scientist / philosopher!).

Leonardo is famous for his masterly paintings, such as The Last Supper and Mona Lisa. He is also known for designing many inventions that anticipated modern technology, although few of these designs were constructed in his lifetime. In addition, he helped advance the study of anatomy, astronomy, and civil engineering. Renaissance humanism saw no mutually exclusive polarities between sciences and arts. Certainly his knowledge of mathematics and science contributed to the greatness of his art.

"Perspective is a most subtle discovery in mathematical studies, for by means of lines it causes to appear distant that which is near, and large that which is small." (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci’s studies in science and engineering were recorded in notebooks comprising some 13,000 pages of notes and drawings. These notes were made and maintained through Leonardo's travels through Europe, during which he made continual observations of the world around him. His approach to science was an observatory one: he tried to understand a phenomenon by describing and depicting it in utmost detail, and did not emphasize experiments or theoretical explanations. Since he lacked formal education in Latin and mathematics, contemporary scholars mostly ignored Leonardo the scientist.

da Vinci started to discover the anatomy of the human body at the time he was apprenticed to Andrea del Verrocchio, (at age fourteen) as his art teacher insisted that all his pupils learn anatomy. Fascinated by the phenomenon of flight, Leonardo produced detailed studies of the flight of birds, and plans for several flying machines, including a helicopter powered by four men and a light hang-glider.

In 1502 Leonardo da Vinci produced a drawing of a single span 720-foot (240 m) bridge as part of a civil engineering project for Sultan Beyazid II of Constantinople. Owing to his sometime employment as a military engineer, his notebooks also contain several designs for military machines: guns, an armoured tank, cluster bombs, etc. even though he later held war to be the worst of human activities. Other inventions include a submarine, a cog-wheeled device that has been interpreted as the first mechanical calculator, and a car powered by a spring mechanism. In his years in the Vatican, he planned an industrial use of solar power, by employing concave mirrors to heat water.

Why Leonardo did not publish or otherwise distribute the contents of his notebooks remains a mystery to those who believe that Leonardo wanted to make his observations public knowledge. They remained obscure until the 19th century, and were not directly of value to the development of science and technology. Leonardo da Vinci will nonetheless be remembered as the archetype of the "Renaissance man".


Leonardo da Vinci, Religion and Science

We searched for information on da Vinci's religion and information is surprisingly scarce. It seems that technically he was a Catholic, but we assume an enlightened philosophical understanding more in harmony with philosophers like Spinoza and Albert Einstein. He was well aware of the hypocrisy (and ignorance) of the catholic church, Leonardo da Vinci is quoted as saying;

"I see Christ once more being sold and crucified and his saints martyred." (Leonardo da Vinci)

And he respected science (more than claims of divine miracles).

"Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory."

"Although nature commences with reason and ends in experience it is necessary for us to do the opposite, that is to commence as I said before with experience and from this to proceed to investigate the reason."

"There is no result in nature without a cause; understand the cause and you will have no need of the experiment."

"Those who are enamoured of practice without science are like a pilot who goes into a ship without rudder or compass and never has any certainty of where he is going. Practice should always be based upon a sound knowledge of theory." (Leonardo da Vinci)

"Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness."

"Blinding ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes! "


'For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.' (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci Quotes, Paintings & Pictures

'The painter's mind is a copy of the divine mind, since it operates freely in creating the many kinds of animals, plants, fruits, landscapes, countrysides, ruins, and awe-inspiring places by promising results which are not obtainable.' (Leonardo da Vinci)The painter's mind is a copy of the divine mind, since it operates freely in creating the many kinds of animals, plants, fruits, landscapes, countrysides, ruins, and awe-inspiring places by promising results which are not obtainable.

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.

There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.

Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation... even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.

Men of lofty genius when they are doing the least work are most active.

The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.

The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.

Quotes from Leonardo da Vinci

'As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.'  (Leonardo da Vinci)

- Send a very cool philosophy / wisdom postcard - RSS Feed (XML  1.0 / RSS 2.0)RSS

Facebook Connect
Connect in an Inter-Connected Universe!

Connect with Geoff Haselhurst at Facebook - Add as Friend


"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
(George Orwell)

"Hell is Truth Seen Too Late."
(Thomas Hobbes)

Help Humanity

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
(Mohandas Gandhi)

Albert Einstein"When forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence: Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter. ... Physical objects are not in space, but these objects are spatially extended. In this way the concept 'empty space' loses its meaning. ... The particle can only appear as a limited region in space in which the field strength or the energy density are particularly high. ...
The free, unhampered exchange of ideas and scientific conclusions is necessary for the sound development of science, as it is in all spheres of cultural life. ... We must not conceal from ourselves that no improvement in the present depressing situation is possible without a severe struggle; for the handful of those who are really determined to do something is minute in comparison with the mass of the lukewarm and the misguided. ...
Humanity is going to need a substantially new way of thinking if it is to survive!" (Albert Einstein)

Biography: Geoffrey Haselhurst, Philosopher of Science, Theoretical Physics, Metaphysics, Evolution. Our world is in great trouble due to human behaviour founded on myths and customs that are causing the destruction of Nature and climate change. We can now deduce the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter in space. By understanding how we and everything around us are interconnected in Space we can then deduce solutions to the fundamental problems of human knowledge in physics, philosophy, metaphysics, theology, education, health, evolution and ecology, politics and society.

This is the profound new way of thinking that Einstein realised, that we exist as spatially extended structures of the universe - the discrete and separate body an illusion. This simply confirms the intuitions of the ancient philosophers and mystics.

Given the current censorship in physics / philosophy of science journals (based on the standard model of particle physics / big bang cosmology) the internet is the best hope for getting new knowledge known to the world. But that depends on you, the people who care about science and society, realise the importance of truth and reality.

It is easy to help - just click on the social network sites (below) or grab a nice image / quote you like and add it to your favourite blog, wiki or forum. We are listed as one of the top philosophy sites on the Internet (600,000 page views / week) and have a wonderful collection of knowledge from the greatest minds in human history, so people will appreciate your contributions. Thanks! Geoff Haselhurst - Karene Howie - Email

Connect with Geoffrey
Support simple sensible science that works

YouTube       MySpace       Facebook       Twitter

"All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing."
(Edmund Burke)

The Philosophy Shop
'The Gift of Truth Excels all Other Gifts.' (Buddha)

One of the top ten shops at Cafepress for the past two years (out of 3 million shops!).
A brilliant collection of portraits and quotes from 500 of the greatest minds in human history.

Large Posters - Small Posters - Mini Poster Prints - Framed Poster Panel Prints - 2010 Wall Calendars - Journals / Diaries - Postcards - Greeting Cards - Mousepads - Bumper Stickers - Coffee Cups, Mugs & Beer Steins - Wall / Time Clocks - Buttons / Badges - Fridge Magnets - Jewelry Box & Coasters
'At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.' (Aristotle)
Ancient Greek Philosophy
'Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world; it is appeased by love. This is an eternal Law.' (Buddha)
Chinese Indian Metaphysics
'I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them.' (Spinoza)
Western Philosophy
'The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.' (Bertrand Russell)
20th Century Philosophers
'The scientist only imposes two things, namely truth and sincerity, imposes them upon himself and upon other scientists'. (Erwin Schrodinger)
Physics Prints Science Quote
'The laws of Nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God.' (Euclid)
Mathematics Mathematicians
'I am one of those who think like Nobel, that humanity will draw more good than evil from new discoveries.' (Marie Curie)
Scientists Inventors
'Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.' (Seneca the Younger)
God Religion Morality
'If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.' (Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR))
Famous Leader Politics
'Since philosophy is the art which teaches us how to live, and since children need to learn it as much as we do at other ages, why do we not instruct them in it?' (Michel de Montaigne on Philosophy of Education)
Education Educational
'The wise man must remember that while he is a descendant of the past, he is a parent of the future.' (Herbert Spencer)
Evolution Life Nature Ecology
'The Truth is far more powerful than any weapon of mass destruction.' (Mohandas Mahatma Gandhi)
Motivational Inspirational
'No one was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrancy of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language.' (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
Metaphysical Poets & Poetry
'In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.' (George Orwell)
Literature Books Authors
'Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.' (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
Musicians Composers
'No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.' (Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Women)
Women Feminism Art
'Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.' (Francisco de Goya)
Renaissance Fine Art Prints
'QUESTION: What do you get when you cross the Godfather with a philosopher? ANSWER: An offer you can't understand.'
Satire Humor Funny Jokes
Unique Custom Printed Tees - Men's Women's White T-Shirts - Men's Women's Black T-Shirts - Longsleeve T Shirts Hooded Sweatshirts - Women's Long Sleeve Clothing - Tight Sexy Ladies Clothes - Men's & Women's Boxer Shorts / Boxers - Women's Intimate Lingerie: Erotic Thongs / Sexy Slips - Cotton Canvas Printed Tote Bag & Messenger Bags - Children / Infant / Kids Clothes - Printed Kitchen Chef BBQ Cooking Aprons - Baseball Caps & Trucker Hats - Dog Clothes

Copyright 1997 - 2012
We support 'Fair Use' of these pages for Academic & Non Commercial use.
You are welcome to use images and text, but please reference them with a link to relevant web page on this site. Thanks!

Creative Commons License

Facebook ConnectFacebook Connect
Follow Geoff Haselhurst @philosophytruth on Twitter.Follow
Share this Page - Help Humanity - Support simple sensible Science that works.Share The Philosophy ShopPhilosophy
Send Free Postcards / Greeting Cards.Free
RSS Feed (XML  1.0 / RSS 2.0)RSS