Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, or more commonly known as Leonardo da Vinci, was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. He is considered one of the most brilliant minds the world has ever known.
He had very high intellectual ability, extraordinary creative range, and used them to accomplish quite a bit. Leonardo is somebody who is able to operate across all these various fields, which is very unusual.
He was trained as a painter, a sculptor, but he manages to move into geometry, optics, mechanical design, anatomy, geology, and so on, and in each of these, he has extraordinary insight. So, if you’re wanting to talk about a universal genius, which is a very Renaissance idea, then Leonardo is the definition of that.
Leonardo da Vinci’s work, covering a staggering range of disciplines, is still influencing science, technology, medicine, art, and numerous other fields nearly half a millennium after his death, but just who was Leonardo da Vinci? Was he simply a man of profound intellect and imagination?
While still a teenager, Leonardo earned an apprenticeship with one of the most renowned artists of the time, Andrea del Verrocchio, and it is widely considered that their most notable collaboration during this period was The Annunciation, a scene depicting the moment when the Virgin Mary is informed that she will soon be made pregnant with God’s child. Verrocchi had begun painting but at some point Leonardo jumped in and finished it, da vinci painted an angel.
In 1989, experts in Florence performed an extensive examination of The Annunciation to verify if the angel in the painting was truly the work of Leonardo. After close expert and scientific inspection, it was concluded that it was undoubtedly the artist’s work, but they also discovered something strange and unexpected. When subjected to X rays, Leonardo’s angel became invisible.
Verrocchio used a lead-based paint for at least parts of his Virgin Mary. Leonardo, on the other hand, seems to have used, uh, rather different pigments. Leonardo completed it using a non-lead-based paint, which is why, when looked at with certain X-ray technology, Leonardo’s angel disappears. Now, why would Leonardo, being the apprentice, finish his mentor’s work with a different type of paint? And one possibility is that he was leaving some type of message because he was notorious for hiding things inside his own paintings.
What most people know about Leonardo, is that between 1476 to 1478there is a “gap” in his life. What happened to him during this period and why did he vanish? especially when it was precisely during this period when he was just beginning to come into prominence? How could someone like him go somewhere and that there be no written evidence.
When considering all theories, what could explain such behavior? What could make a man like Leonardo vanish without a trace for a period of time?, some believe that during his time away, he received tutoring from beings not of this earth. What we know for certain is that when Leonardo reappeared in Florence in 1478, his creative output reached a whole new level, going beyond art and extending to a number of other disciplines.
He would produce aerial maps of Italian cities with such incredible accuracy, he would design and build the world’s first self-propelled vehicle and he would invent machines years and even centuries ahead of their time. So we need to ask us what was it that influenced Leonardo da Vinci that much for him to comeback with another perspective and what was the secret behind his burst of creativity?
Lonardo and the Vatican
From 1513 to 1516 that Leonardo da Vinci began performing an act that– during the time– was a crime punishable by death: the dissection of human corpses. Leonardo was brought from Milan to the Vatican to paint. But because the Vatican had these great catacombic depths, they were very cool places, and he took advantage on that and knew that it would be an ideal place to dissect a body without losing it to decomposition.
It is known that a number of autopsies we know were performed in the Vatican and under the nose of the Pope, who’s– policy of the Catholic Church– was to forbid that.
Leonardo stopped at nothing to find out about the human body. He bought dead bodies even though there was a penalty of death on doing the things he was doing. Da Vinci had this extraordinary drive to know and understand despite the fact that it might kill him.
In his 36 months that he spent at the Vatican, Leonardo da Vinci documented dozens of dissections with incredible detail, but in order to keep his work secret, his notes on human anatomy were recorded in code, using mirror writing. It is known that from early in his life Leonardo adopted mirror writing.
At a later point in his career it also served his purposes. Why did Leonardo do it? He wrote backwards so prying eyes could not see what he was writing about. He realized knew the things that he was working on, including various inventions, were something that the Church would simply not approve of.
The Mona Lisa or La Gioconda
Florence, Italy, 1503. Leonardo da Vinci begins work on a portrait commissioned by a wealthy silk merchant for his wife, but it is a painting he will never part with, he became obsessed over every detail for what would be the last 16 years of his life– the Mona Lisa.
It is only a portrait and yet it seems to have dimensions and mysteries that have yet to be explained. It is a different kind of a portrait, something that we you look at, mysteriously takes you away between the details and the colors, the smile and the most simple details of the portrait. The position of the hands an so many other details and factors come into play. The smile you can see in the Mona Lisa is not the normal kind of smile you would see in a ordinary portrait so what is it about the Mona Lisa? and why would he dedicate so much time of his life to this painting.
There are a lot of theories that Leonardo has secret symbols and secret messages in his paintings. Everything he’s doing he’s rethinking even traditional subjects in the very beginning and really imagining them in new and creative ways. So is it possible, that as in his writing’s Leonardo used similar techniques in his paintings, using the mirror to see different dimensions and aspects.
So is it possible that Leonardo applied his mirror technique to hide secret messages in the Mona Lisa?
At the Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, graphical designer Terrence Masson used computer technology to search for hidden messages in Leonardo’s masterworks.
Leonardo’s portraiture always has very dramatic hand positioning. His hand position was a clue to the access points of rotation of the mirror. When Terrence Masson applied that to the digital copy of the Mona Lisa this is what the result was:
You can clearly see somehting, it depends on each person what to make of it, and the question a lot of people will ask themselves; is this helmet-shaped creature simply the product of a parlor trick? If so, then why can a similar creature be seen in another famous painting by da Vinci: Virgin and Child with St. Anne?
This other example, Virgin of the Rocks, again we notice dramatic hand positioning maybe indicating where the reflective plane should be positioned.
Basically what we are getting, when thinking clearly is a modern day Extraterrestrial, without a doubt, so could there really be hidden messages in Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings? Messages that reveal his burst of creativity, imagination and knowledge?
London, England. In the British Library, is Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Arundel, a collection of 283 papers containing drawings, inventions, thoughts and writings covering numerous scientific and creative disciplines. There are thousands and thousands of documents which tell us what Leonardo was thinking about, but what is curious is that there is almost no personal record.
Found among Leonardo’s papers were a few personal anecdotes, composed just after his two-year disappearance between 1476 and 1478. In one account, the Leonardo details his youthful adventure finding a vast and mysterious cave, he describes being on the edge of this dark cave, and saying that he felt terrified by the darkness of that cave and what might be within it. On the other hand, he felt a certain desire to try to understand what was in there.
Some people have speculated that this incident occurred around the same time as when he fashioned his famous shield with the head of the monstrous Medusa on it. So the question we ask ourselves is what exactly did Leonardo find in this cave? We can assume that this was a very significant event in his life, because it made a strong enough impression on him to write it down as one of the few autobiographical notes he ever made. So why would, Leonardo da Vinci, who almost never wrote of his personal life choose to describe and write about this cave and why was the experience of that cave so important to him.
After his encounter with the cave One of the things that we see in the grotesque heads is a fairly marked departure from the natural appearance of the human body, the human face, even in its most extreme manifestation Visually, the works are so compelling.
They’re often slightly creepy they’ve got this very strange presence to them. They are misshapen faces, elongated skulls, flattened faces. Very eerie, troubling, monstrous images.
Leonardo is an artist known for careful, realistic depiction of what he was looking at, which raises the question– what in the world was he looking at? Did he actually encounter creatures that looked like this? Are Leonardo’s grotesque heads simply products of the artist’s creative imagination or is there something more to these shocking images from Leonardo da Vinci.
And during the renaissance
According to historical records during the Renaissance there were a large number of unexplained phenomena seen in the skies over parts of Europe and Asia.
During the siege of Constantinople in 1453, soldiers reported that a fire descended on them from the sky and in 1458, a giant moon-like disc was seen soaring above the landscape in Japan. In 1492, during Christopher Columbus’ journey across the Atlantic Ocean, strange lights were seen floating above the ocean and that is just before Christopher Columbus reaches the New World he sees anomalous lights in the sky, and he reports them, people see them from his ship but these lights cannot be explained.
What is very curious, in the renaissance period there is an extraordinary explosion of paintings which show anomalies in the background, anomalies which today we identify as U.F.O.’s as people today know what they are, while in the past people were much more limited and could not explain strange objects and light due to the lack of knowledge and technologies.
Why would 15th century artists depict mysterious objects in paintings of biblical scenes? Could these images be linked to the numerous sightings of bizarre flying objects in the sky that mankind simply could not identify at that time?
Terrence Masson at the Northeastern University examined the strange images found in Renaissance paintings.
One specific example, The Baptism of Christ by Gelder:
While looking at this image, its clear that you do not see a traditional depiction of an angel or cloud. Other examples can be explained by different iconography, graphic representations of angels in clouds and lights, but if you look at this painting, it’s just a solid, shiny disk with four laser beams shining down at the Christ child.
A specific example is The Madonna with Saint Giovannino, you look at this, and it’s not one of those that is easily explained away as being a literal interpretation of an angel in the cloud:
Its not a cloud, its not an angel so what exactly is it? It was clearly painted on purpose, there are clear brush strokes and the shepard in the painting shields his eyes to be able to observe the unidentified object, we have a 16th century painting of a UFO. So is it possible that in the renaissance there was clear extraterrestrial presence on Earth.
When we look at today’s inventions, the car, the airplane and helicopter, we ask ourselves from where do all of these ideas come from? What motivated mankind to build such marvels and who invented them.
An example of Leonardo’s amazing inventions are the drawings for vertical flight which made today’s Helicopters possible depicted nearly 500 years ago, and so we come to acknowledge that the helicopter, the airplane, submarine and tank are all Leonardo da Vinci’s concepts.
Leonardo basically invented the modern day weaponry that our military uses today and if we had developed all of his ideas and concepts and incorporated his scientific discoveries there is an argument to be made that we, possibly, could have landed somebody on the moon in about the 1800s.
Leonardo was at least 500 years in front of his time, most of his invention’s could not have been developed due to the lack of materials and limited technology but that did not stop him of going as far as he could with what he had at that time.
In 1517, at the famous Chateau du Clos Lucé in Amboise, France, Leonardo da Vinci presented King Francis I with a gift in the form of a full-sized mechanical lion, so Leonardo in his time was able to create the first functional and self sustaining robot.
Leonardo da Vinci had the idea for the 360 degree firepower, he invented today’s Tank. His version of the vehicle originally was designed for horses, but the horses became spooked so easily that he quickly designed it to the human being. At the time that is was presented, the tank was a bit impractical, and it was not built until centuries later.
Leonardo theorized that you did not want to exhale into the air that you were inhaling.
He had the idea for carbon dioxide, and he brought down another tube that you could exhale into that tube, only receiving fresh air from the surface.
He invented the air compressor. Somebody on shore or on a boat could press down and force the air through the tube to the helmet, allow the person to breathe.
But perhaps the most impressive are those involving aircraft technology.
Nearly 400 years before the Wright brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the 15th century inventor had designed numerous flying machines, including a hang glider and an aircraft that operated like a modern-day helicopter.
Where did all of the amazing ideas come from? How did Leonardo da Vinci become a genius that was able to invent most of the vehicles we use today, how could a boy go from painting to inventing life changing objects? How did he manage to process that amount of knowledge and what gave him strength to continue working on most of his inventions even though he knew that he was incapable of constructing them at his time.
Leonardo da Vinci spent much of his time examining the mysteries of nature, because his parents were not married, he was excluded from the prestigious academies attended by many of his contemporaries, this gave him in some way an advantage over other artist and inventors as Leonardo was in touch with the nature and world, he was able to see things and observe them in a direct way. But what happened to da Vinci, and how did he acquire all of that knowledge is a question yet to be answered.