The Teachings of Leonardo da Vinci

HARSHADA PATHARE
3 min readJul 7, 2021

The modern world has leaned on the work of Leonardo da Vinci in many ways.

His art is revered the world over, and even for those with little more than a rudimentary understanding of painting, he is a household name. His sculptures are just as famous, and his vision of the future should be celebrated as much as Nostradamus. Leonardo da Vinci didn’t see the future; he predicted it with startling accuracy. He believed that one day, man would fly, and his sketches even depicted early flying machines.

“Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses- especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”

-Famous quote by Leonardo Da Vinci

Live Science discusses how he also conceptualized the armored car, solar power, machine guns, and diving suits. He was an inventor, a man who sketched contraptions that seemed incomprehensible at the time but are now accepted as part of our world. He was a complete creative being and contrarian thinker, and his work was groundbreaking, so he remains inspirational to this day.

“The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of.”

-Inspirational quote by Leonardo Da Vinci

Some people may not have encountered the famous artist through his paintings or his ideas, but his depiction in modern media. Almost everybody has heard of the da Vinci Code, the book by Dan Brown, but some have seen him appear in video games. He was a playable character in Assassin’s Creed 2, a video game set in Renaissance Florence based on the Medici family’s story. He has appeared in other, less obvious video games which bear his name. He inspired an online slot game: features the title da Vinci Diamonds, which takes his name and mimics the classic art forms from the period. You can find him in Mario’s Time Machine on the SNES, too, as a non-playable character and in many other games. Of course, whenever you fire a machine gun in Call of Duty or take to the air in a plane, there is a little of da Vinci’s spirit there, too.

The world has learned much from da Vinci, but we can find lessons on modern thinking, points for us to ponder and question even in his quotes. He might not be remembered as a philosopher, but these quotes certainly make contrarian thinkers of today understand him even more.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Sometimes, it is easy to overcomplicate things. In, simplicity is often the highest form of sophistication, especially for minimalists, but the same applies to your life and way of thinking. Keeping things simple does not mean keeping them basic.

“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘This 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.”

It seems da Vinci had a way with words as he did with his brush, although this quote shrugged off simplicity and went for a wordier way of saying ‘stay strong in the face of adversity’. Still, the panache with which this was delivered makes it a great quote for any modern thinker to imbue.

“Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.”

This quote doesn’t reflect well on Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno at all. You might well ask who I am talking about: he was da Vinci’s pupil for 28 years, and sadly, he never surpassed his master. Da Vinci believes that every pupil should eventually become more extraordinary than their master. Never stop developing and evolving your thinking is the key message.
“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.”

Could there be a better quote to end this article with? Spend your days well, sleep soundly knowing your life is good, and eventually, you will end on a happy note.

- Idea conceived and article edited by Ellie Humphries

Originally published at https://harshadapathare.com on July 7, 2021.

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