Leonardo worked out gravity 200 years before Newton, the wave nature of light 200 years before Huygens, developed “da Vinci’s Rule” and understood the nature of time before Einstein. And he was obsessed with the tongue of the woodpecker.
Leonardo had little formal education. And for many years he was quite proud of the fact. But then – like certain podcasters – he started to get his knowledge from books, helping to invent the scientific method.
Leonardo was a wild and crazy guy. He liked to party. And it may have saved his new official gig with the court of Sforza to build the world’s biggest horse.
“Man, called a little world, contains in himself all the general perfections of the whole world”, wrote Leonardo’s friend, Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The two of them, and their friend Giacomo Andrea, all took turns at drawing “the guy doing naked jumping jacks” aka Vitruvian Man. One of those drawings became the most famous drawing in the world.
Leonardo liked to draw beautiful young men alongside craggy older men. Was it personal porn? Or artistic experimentation?
His new friendship with fellow architects and artists Donato Bramante and Francesco di Giorgio lead to his discovery of the writings of the ancient Roman architect Vetruvius, and one of his most famous drawings – Vitruvian Man.