Leonardo da Vinci was a true Renaissance man and he did not see a divide between the study of science and the practice of art. Instead he believed studying science made him a better artist and took the view that they were intertwined disciplines rather than separate ones.
His love of art and science merged perfectly in his sketch of “Vitruvian Man,” which depicted a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart inside both a square and a circle.
Leonardo thought sight the keenest sense that man possessed and he stressed the importance of saper vedere or = “knowing how to see.” He loved science because he believed in pursuing direct knowledge and facts through observation. This made was humankind’s most important figures to emerge in the Renaissance.
“A good painter has two chief objects to paint—man and the intention of his soul,” da Vinci wrote. “The former is easy, the latter hard, for it must be expressed by gestures and the movement of the limbs.”
To more accurately depict the human body and emotions, da Vinci studied anatomy and began to dissect human and animal bodies for a more profound understanding of the mind and bodies during the 1480s.
He went as far as to make drawings of a fetus in utero, the heart and vascular system, sex organs and other bone and muscular structures – and they are historical in that amongst the earliest ever recorded.
Leondard da Vinci studied botany, geology, zoology, hydraulics, aeronautics and physics. And although his ideas were largely theoretical explanations he famously laid out ideas in exacting detail as blueprints for creating…even if only sometime in the future. In fact he was so ahead of of his time, that he appeared to prophesize the future with his sketches of machines that resembled a bicycle, helicopter and a flying machine based on the physiology of a bat.