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Leonardo Da Vinci: The Greatest Inventor Of The Renaissance

1518 words - 7 pages

Leonardo Da Vinci: Greatest Inventor of the Renaissance
What do you think of when someone mentions the name Leonardo da Vinci? Most people automatically think of the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Not many people go right to the fact that he was the original inventor of the airplane and tank. Not only did he invent these, but da Vinci invented many military machines that people overlook today. The Renaissance housed some of the greatest minds and talents the world has even seen, including Leonardo da Vinci. He has been called by many people the original “renaissance man” for his advancements in anatomy, art, physics, and military technology. He was an all around genius and scholar in all ...view middle of the document...

Their first famous painting they created together was the The Baptism of Christ, which was completed about 1472 (Summers). Then, for a few years Leonardo had his own studio in Florence where he received commission for paintings. Later, da Vinci left Florence to Milan and designed advanced weapons including the tank (Biographies 105). While in Milan many of his early works inspired many young artists including Sandro Botticelli and Piero Di Cosimo (Summers). During his whole life da Vinci traveled among Milan, Florence, and France painting and sculpting for wealthy patrons, dukes, and even the King of France, Francis I. “He invited Leonardo to become ‘first painter and engineer and architect of the king (Summers)’”. During his last years in France is when he began to draft many of his ingenious military designs. Leonardo used his drawings as a tool for scientific inquiry and to express his artistic creativity (Summers). On May 2, 1512 Leonardo died at his home in Cloux, France, leaving behind sketches of his inventions (Calvo).
Many people know that Leonardo was not just an artist and sculptor, but also an inventor. However, not many know what machines he actually created and how advanced they actually were. For example, da Vinci created the first design for the airplane and the tank. According to Maxine Annabell, author and creator of the website “Leonardo Da Vinci, The Man and The Inventor,” his design for airplane never worked because it depended on man to have the muscle strength and coordination to copy the flight of a bird. Also, his design for the wings was made to beat upwards and downwards, due to the belief that that’s how birds fly. Due to the belief of the time of how birds fly his wings never gave the machine any lift therefore they had no chance of being successful. Even though his design for the airplane was never successful he was still dipping into possibilities that no one had ever tried before. Many of his ideas and designs were very foreign to the people at the time. Leonardo was especially intrigued with the mechanical potential of motion which led him to design a machine with differential transmission, a moving fortress that would resemble a modern day tank (Heydenreich). Also, his interest in mechanical motion led him to design his “helical airscrew” which almost seems as a prototype for the modern helicopter (Heydenreich). Unfortunately, like his airplane design, the tank and airscrew lacked an adequate source of power that would provide propulsion and lift.
Da Vinci was also a great military engineer. He designed the first machine gun and he made advances on the design of the cannon. He designed a breech-loading system of cannons, so at one point a soldier can be firing one cannon and cooling off another (Annabell). He also created a way to increase the rate at which weapons fired. He made a design that would allow a soldier to either fire multiple cannons at once, or fire them successively (Annabell). This has been...

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