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Famous Leonardo da vinci quotes

Updated on February 27, 2014

Independence and Milan

After 20 years, da Vinci became master of his own workshop, funded by his father in 1478. He still continued working with Verrochio and his fellow pupils. By 1483, his talents as an inventor drew the attention of the ruling Sforza family and da Vinci moved to Milan to work as their engineer, sculptor, painter and architect.

In the process he read up on major philosophical, geometrical and military works and showed a fantastic capability for absorbing information and using it for new inventions. This work ethic was enshrined in famous Leonardo da Vinci quotes like “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” and “The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

However, due to the warring nature of the various Italian city states, the Milanese duke set da Vinci to working on weapons, buildings and machinery - he even designed tanks and submarines - besides his artwork.

Besides many other Biblical representations commissioned and completed by various royal courts across Europe, his iconic “The Last Supper” mural – which still spawns imitations till this day – was produced in from 1495 to 1497 in a Milan monastery.

Leonardo da Vinci

Youth and Florence

As the illegitimate son of the lawyer, his name simply means Leonardo of Vinci. Even when he was younger, his artistic abilities were recognized by townspeople, and a his father actually managed to sell an early painting, which eventually made its way to the court of the Duke of Milan. When he turned 14, da Vinci went to Florence became an apprentice to sculptor Andrea del Verrocchio, who is best known for the iconic statue of David that still stands today – and is purportedly modeled on da Vinci.

Journal of Inventions: Leonardo da Vinci


“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death”

~Leonardo da Vinci

Around Italy and France

Two years later, Milan fell to the French causing da Vinci to flee the city as his employers did. Upon his return to Florence, he was joined by many collaborators and pupils. Over the next 16 years, da Vinci served a large number of employers, including military general Cesare Borgia, working as an engineer with the commander’s army.

During those years, he made contact with a wide range of Italian thinkers, including political advisor Niccolo Machiavelli, author of "The Prince”. Some of the works da Vinci produced include a design of a bridge spanning a bridge spanning Constantinople’s Golden Horn.

The Natal Chart of Leonardo da Vinci

Return to Milan and Death

Meanwhile, da Vinci continued to sketch and draw hundreds of inventions. Da Vinci returned to Milan in 1506 and stayed for another 7 years. He then spent 3 years in Rome and then moved to France in 1517 at the invitation of the its king Francis I. He became a close confidant of the French king, attending Francis’ meetings with popes and other royals. Da Vinci lived at the Château of Cloux, near Amboise, where he died in 1519.

Biography: Leonardo Da Vinci

Watch this video

Following video is pretty interesting and covers many facts associated with Leonardo Da Vinci, famous Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. This video was provided by BBC and it is 50 minutes long. In this video you can see how people are trying to bring to life some of the Leonardo’s greatest inventions

Flying machine by Leonardo

Other great quotes by Leonardo Da Vinci

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”

“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.”

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.”

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

The most popular Leonardo da Vinci inventions

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Greatest invention ever?

Like I have said before Leonardo da Vinci had just amazing inventions, he was able to paint more than six thousand blueprints of different inventions and each of them was so complicated and innovative that it is hard to believe that someone has created them in 16th-century. However, I want to ask you which of his inventions do you consider as a greatest of all.


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