Introduction and Renaissance
Both Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci were both Renaissance men. And both were way ahead of their Renaissance time period. However, today I am going to focus on Leonardo Da Vinci. For one thing. Leonardo was born in 1452 and Michelangelo was born almost 15 years later during the High Renaissance in 1475 so that explains some of the differences. Da Vinci was most known for his inventions and innovations, but Michelangelo was mostly known for his painting the Sistine Chapel. Also Michelangelo was well known as a poet but we cannot tell if Da Vinci was a good poet because he wrote backwards and you can only read it if you hold it up to a mirror and even then it is hard to read.

Early Life
Mr. Da Vinci was born on April 15,1452. Leo was the illegitimate son of the wealthy Antonio Da Vinci and a peasant named Catrina. Da Vinci had no last name so he was called da vinci literally meaning from Vinci. Little is known about Leo's early life, however for his first five years of life in Anchiano but from then on he lived with his grandparents and uncle in the small town of Vinci. Originally he was not that smart and he received an informal education in Latin, geometry, and mathematics but no one is completely sure who taught him these things. One childhood incident that Leo recalled in later life was that when he was a little child a kite dropped down from the sky and brushed its tail feathers over his face which was regarded as an omen by his father. The second childhood incident was that when he was exploring in the mountains, he discovered a cave and was both terrified that some monster might lurk there and yet intrigued at the thought of what might be inside.


Lady with Ermine by Leonardo Da VInci (CC)
Lady with Ermine by Leonardo Da VInci (CC)

Teenage Years 1466-1476
Before Leonardo could become the accomplished person we today remember him as today he had to start as an apprentice to accomplished painter Andrea di Cione also commonly known as Verrocchio whose workshop was "one of the finest in Florence." To get into this workshop you need to be advanced in chemistry, metal work, plaster casting, leather work, mechanics and carpentry so clearly Mr. da Vinci was a very well rounded person. Also much of Verriochio's work was done by his apprentice so Da Vinci was exposed to professional painting before his apprentinceship was up. One common rumor is that Leo himself may have been the model for Verrichio's works.


Inventions
He invented sketching flying machines when he was merely a boy. Eventually his sketches led to models. Then his models failed so he adapted the motto, "If at first you don't succeed try, try, again." He also liked to try to take things apart and put them back together. Here is a list of some of Da Vinci's inventions: Artillery Park, Stretching Device, Boat, Helicopter and landing gear for a helicopter, Flying Machine, Armored Car, Giant Crossbow, he perfected the siege Tower, Automatic Device for igniting guns, Parachute, and he also perfected the scissors. I am going to focus on one invention in particular one of the most influential inventions that still exists today, the invention of the flying machine. Leo studied the flight of birds and based the designs of his machines off of the style of their wings. He did it that way because clearly birds are masters if flight. Also many people thought he had ADD because he could not stay focused on one design for very long thus the flying machine had constant changes. This flying machine proves that he was truly ahead of his time because his design has been built and tried and it actually succeeded. His wings were curved so the air could flow over it and under it giving it plenty of lift and that is the same design they use on airplane wings to this day. He also came up with the idea of landing gear for this flying machine. Thus the rider of the flying machine could land safely and if you look at the drawings of early airplanes they look very similar to Da Vinci's hang glider flying machine.

Created by Alex April 19, 2011
Source Leonardo Da Vinci Wikipedia