STUDENT LEARNING GUIDE
LEONARDO DA V I N C I
MAN — INVENTOR — GENIUS
Prihod President & CEO Detroit Science Center
. his father’s estate. April 15. cannons. aerodynamics and hydrodynamics. the “Mona Lisa. We hope to inspire you to become the next great inventor. 1452. You can push. ans and scientists refer to him simHaving established himself as a creator ply as Leonardo. mechanics. It quickly became a gathering name. pull. an inventor and a genius. map making. Sincerely. in Vinci. tice to painter Andrea del Verrocchio Leonardo da Vinci left Italy for France in until he became a master himself. His parents were never marhis first studio. swimming aids and even submarines. Inventor. parachutes. catapults. it’s our mission to inspire our visitors to pursue and support careers in engineering. he made extraordinary contributions in the areas of flight. tanks. mechanics and more. optics. Leonardo returned to Florence. Leonardo didn’t have a last While in Milan.” Most histori1499. Leonardo the artist gave the world one of its most famous paintings. it’s a trick quescourt. Leonardo. A keen observer ing for his time and genius by 1507. scuba gear. Leonardo also opened name. creative and inventive. and started training ried and he didn’t take his father’s apprentices. engineering and physics principles behind them. both as an artist and as a designer of weaponry. Leonardo the innovator was responsible for advances in hydraulic machines. Leonardo left 1519. The special exhibit Leonardo da Vinci: Man. anatomy and architecVinci’s last name? Da Vinci? Just ture during his many years in the Duke’s Vinci? Actually. 1516 and remained there until he died in In late 1482 or early 1483. hang gliders. outside of the Leonardo had Florence and Milan competItalian city of Florence. At the Detroit Science Center. geology. also traveled to Rome to work for Pope 15-year-old Leonardo became an apprenLeo X. automobiles. As you’ll read in this supplement.
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was an artist. gear shifts. was born on of masterpieces and a thinker of ingenuity.
Kevin F. buildings and the renaissance man machinery.meet leonardo
Dear Student: Could you be the next Leonardo da Vinci? Leonardo was infinitely curious. Genius brings to life 60 models of Leonardo’s famous concepts and drawings. tion. Da Vinci simply When the French occupied Milan in means “from Vinci. a scientist. even though he grew up on place for artists and thinkers.” as well as “The Last Supper” and “The Vitruvian Man” that appears on the cover of this special education section. botany. Florence and offered his services to the Duke of Milan. crank and interact with the models in the exhibit for a better understanding of the math. zoology. physicist … or even Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo the scientist made inroads in anatomy. He of nature with a talent for drawing. scientist. He was so ahead of his time that few of his inventions could be created with the materials and manuSelf-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci facturing methods that existed at the time he lived. anatomy. engineering. He also produced studies on Quick quiz: What is Leonardo da nature. technology and science. the man.
You. Henry VIII (England). In leading families. While a prize catch for any patron. arch. athletics and social graces. The world has changed drastically in the last 100 years. queens. hunt. Sovereigns were beholden to no one. travel. create a list of changes (good and bad) that have occurred since 1908 in the following fields: medicine. Latin and other languages. instead of voting for leaders.3
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) lived in a time and place teeming with possibilities and new ideas. communication. live in exciting times. French. rulers constantly jockeyed and fought wars for more land.
The Renaissance Leonardo da Vinci was a man of the Renaissance. fence. but that was not the norm. Leonardo is considered the consummate “Renaissance Man. witch burnings.
. For instance. epidemic illnesses. like Leonardo.” Today. regions would be ruled by royalty who inherited their power (or took it by force). art. The better the artist and the work he produced. This at a time when the majority of people couldn’t read! Princesses. better resources and a bigger spotlight on the European stage. As a class. Ferdinand (Aragon. worked for wealthy individuals or groups under a system of patronage. Nonetheless. philosophy. which was a period of history from the late 1300s to about 1600. the Pope in many ways had more practical power than any other ruler. the more prestigious it was for the patron. The Renaissance. high-ranking noblewomen and daughters of particularly enlightened parents would be educated as well. Spain) • Queen Isabella (Castile. Titian. • Kings Richard III (England). For instance. war. technology and social equality. It also was a time of great social inequalities. Beyond the monarchies of kings and queens. He received a pre-apprenticeship education suitable for a craftsperson and only began to learn Latin when he was 50. Leonardo did have a huge flaw that annoyed many of his sponsors. science. weaponry.
Patrons Leonardo. Thomas More • Astronomer Copernicus
Model of Leonardo’s Hammer with Eccentric Cam
As a result. Nothing like it had been seen since the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the Fifth Century. Raphael. Kings. ride horses and play an instrument. However. which means “rebirth. Patrons would support and advance artists. a nobleman might make sure his sons could dance. Botticelli. know astronomy and math. languages. Niccoló Machiavelli. he was so good. learning. that some of his unfinished works are still considered masterpieces. The Inquisition and religious conflict. Power in the Renaissance The political world of Europe was divided differently than it is now. speak and write Greek. And as God’s representative on Earth in the Catholic Church. He accepted commissions and began many works that he never finished. Hieronymus Bosch • Movable Type Printing Press Inventor Johannes Gutenberg • Protestant Reformation Leader Martin Luther • Thinkers Erasmus. European rulers in Leonardo’s time were a collection of near and distant cousins by blood and by marriage. architecture. the Catholic Church held the greatest power in Europe. princes and princesses from different regions would marry each other to create alliances and strengthen ties between them. engineering and literature. the Renaissance was a time to excel in the arts. like many artists during the Renaissance. he was on hand to paint portraits and work as a military engineer. among many other skills. Spain) • Explorer Christopher Columbus • Artists Michelangelo. Alliances shifted and borders changed.
They Could Have Had Dinner
These people were all alive during Leonardo’s lifetime. we use the term to refer to someone who can do many different things well. Discuss what you’d like to see happen in the next 100 years. write poetry. Despite this. Leonardo was not a nobleman.
When Leonardo was sponsored by the Duke of Milan.” was a period of remarkable advances in European art. rigid class systems. except to God.
For instance. but you already know that if you use a fixed pulley on the ceiling. Yet it wouldn’t be far off to say that his work inspired many an inventor of the modern age. screws. Some historians think this was a way to keep other people from stealing his designs. Hold a mirror up to this page or the front cover to see if you can make out some of the letters. a seesaw. gears. chain or belt. before computers.mechanics
If you want to form a mental picture of Leonardo da Vinci. levers. Actually.
Leonardo sketch with signature mirror writing
machines. Some of his pages feature sketches upon sketches. which is a type of lever.8 million in 1994. This conversion could be a change in direction. and the machine converts it into something else. pulleys. Leonardo covered thousands and thousands of pages with notes.
. are just a series of simple machines cleverly linked together.
Simple machines — including wedges. before cars. a change in speed or a change in the way effort is expended. Attach the flag to a fixed pulley system. you sit DOWN on your side. One of the most striking things about these pages is the strange-looking writing. springs. Compare this with the fewer than 20 paintings of his (some unfinished) that exist today. Leonardo’s inventions. drawings. A pulley is a simple machine that can help you pick things up with a rope. It is from his notebooks that we have learned much of what we know about Leonardo’s designs and can reconstruct them for ourselves. Pulleys loop the rope around a fixed grooved wheel.
Then set up the ladder again at dusk to retrieve it. You could (if you were an Olympic weightlifter) climb up a ladder and lug the disco ball with you. Pulleys are helpful because they change the direction of energy and also can distribute weight in a way that makes heavy objects easier to handle. making it the most expensive book ever. like this one found in Leonardo’s notebooks. climb up the pole and tie the flag to the pole. changes the direction of energy.
Distribute the Weight Let’s say you wanted to lift a 100-pound disco ball up to the ceiling. you can stay on the ground and pull down on the rope to raise the flag. axles and inclined planes — are the building blocks of all mechanisms. before photographs. wheels. which appears at first glance to be a secret code. can make lifting heavy objects much easier by distributing the weight throughout a rope. like all complex
the renaissance man
A 72-page collection of original pages from Leonardo’s notebooks was sold to Bill Gates for $30.
Leonardo often used pulleys in his designs. it’s important to remember that Leonardo lived in a time hundreds of years before machines ran on electricity. To make your classmate on the other side of the board go UP in the air. Others guess a much less dramatic reason: Leonardo was a lefty and didn’t want to smear his ink. When checking out his designs. By using the loop of rope sliding along a fixed pulley attached to the top of the pole. B.
Change Direction Want to fly a flag every day on a tall flagpole and then take it down at night? You have two options: A. The machine operator pulls down at the rope on the far right to easily hoist the weight at the far left. Get a ladder. The principle is the same in every case: exert some energy at one end.
Pulley systems. sketches for his paintings and designs for machines and devices. you can just pull on the rope instead. Leonardo wrote backwards. think of him scribbling away on paper rather than painting slowly and carefully. from right to left. before TV.
you run the rope though a fixed pulley on the ceiling. you can change the plane of the rotation by 90 degrees. If you turn the green gear clockwise. Then it is run through a pulley attached to a ball. but the basic idea is always the same: a rotating toothed mechanical part engages with a matching toothed mechanical part to transmit motion. called a gear train. but you’ll be pulling twice as long. screws and pulleys to make various human-like gestures. you can turn one by turning the other. when the teeth of two gears are interlocked. You can minimize the amount of effort you use by increasing the distance you have to pull.
. the smaller one would go around twice for every rotation of the larger one. Then.
Did you know that Leonardo invented an automobile and a robot? He was hundreds of years before his time. find a modern-day example of your own for each of these simple machines. discuss each of the different types of simple machines in the left-hand column.
Reversing the Direction In a simple gear series. Leonardo’s wind-up car could be steered with a rudder-like front wheel. the ratio would be 1:3. you can use a movable pulley system to distribute the weight in a much more manageable way.
Left: A simple gear train. This will quarter the force you have to use to pull — 25 pounds — but you’ll have to pull the rope four times the distance. Fifty pounds is still quite a load and it’s easy to cut down on the weight even further — just attach another movable pulley to the ball and another fixed pulley to the ceiling and loop the rope through. meaning the smaller gear would spin around three times as fast as the larger one. He didn’t intend it for long-distance travel — it’s small and doesn’t have a seat. gears. For instance. Want to keep things moving in the same direction as the first gear? Simple: add a third gear for the second gear to spin — every other gear in a gear train spins in the same direction. If a set of gears were 90 teeth and 30 teeth.
Changing the Axis But what if you need to change the axis of the rotation? No problem. Gears transmit and transform rotational motion. turning one gear sends the other turning in the opposite direction. Changing the speed By connecting two gears of different sizes. That means the 30-tooth gear spins twice as fast as the 60-tooth gear. It may have been used as a prop at a feast or a pageant hosted by the Duke of Milan. like the one in the diagram. In simpler terms. twice as fast. You’ll feel like you’re pulling 50 pounds. Luckily. Imagine that one end of the rope is anchored to the ceiling. you can change the speed at which
the second wheel turns. Want to make sure two wheels are spinning at exactly the same time? Connect them both to the same gear system and use the same gear ratio for each. Next. you’ve halved the force you have to exert by doubling the length of rope you need to pull. on your own. draw a line that matches the simple machine to a device that follows the same principles. In this example. In effect.5
But that 100 pounds is still going to be a pain.
During the Renaissance. What will the yellow gear do? Right: A bevel gear can change the plane of rotation by 90 degrees. engineers used many different simple machines in order to make tasks easier. There are many types of gears. As a class. the gear ratio is 1:2.
Wedge Screw Pulley Lever Wheel and Axle Inclined Plane Spring Gears
Electric Fan Staircase Inline Skates Window Blinds Spatula Rowboat Oar Windup Clock Archer’s Bow
Now. you can accomplish a great deal. if a bigger gear had 60 teeth and a smaller gear had 30 teeth. The robotic knight Leonardo designed was “programmed” though cranks. By connecting gears of different sizes or at different angles or in a series. the red gear spins counter-clockwise.
Gears are important components of mechanisms with spinning parts. By using a
bevel gear. These speed differences are called gear ratios.
Model of Leonardo’s Glider
Below: Model and original sketch of Leonardo’s Flapping Wing Experiment
Bird and Wings
Like the fictional Daedalus. But not for lack of trying. but in his day. but opposite.
In his Flying Machine study. The idea was if you could create wings that were bird-like enough and large enough to support a human’s weight. Leonardo was interested in flight. almost all of Leonardo’s flying machines were ornithopters that relied on manpower. the wing would have lifted the weight of a man. Leonardo explored how birds’ wings fold. which is represented by the heavy plank the wing was mounted on. In fiction. men could fly. there is an equal. Leonardo thought that if he had been able to push down the long lever rapidly enough. then surely you could fly. One of the most famous legends from ancient Greece. None of them worked and Leonardo came to realize that people simply don’t have the same muscle structure as birds. The son. So there wasn’t a problem with getting something up in the air. Daedalus. in fact. They just needed the right invention to make it a reality. He needed a new approach. Icarus. The question was how to get a human in the air. In his Flapping Wing Experiment. Leonardo was not alone in his quest to fly. Machines of this type are called ornithopters. Dreamers and inventors had been designing and building flying contraptions unsuccessfully for some time. plunging him to the sea. flying men were only the stuff of legends and myths. The ancient Chinese knew a great deal about kite-flying.
the renaissance man
Leonardo observed that “as much pressure is exerted by the object against the air as by the air against the body” almost two centuries before Sir Isaac Newton came up with his third law of motion that for every action.
At first. Leonardo and those of his time looked to birds for inspiration. distance and path of his flight. and then how to give him control of the height. who made two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers so that he and his son could escape from a tower. was the story of an ingenious inventor. as did the ancient Romans.flight
The Dream of Flying
Throughout his life. The pilot would beat the upper part of the wing up and down and the lower part in and out using an intricate system of cables attached to his feet. soared too close to the sun and his wings melted. reaction. Daedalus flew lower and made it to safety and freedom.
British parachutist Adrian Nicholas tested the design. but it does get one scientific principle right: when the air is compressed it has density. You may work in groups and may use any materials you wish. which calls for a fabric pyramid attached to a wood frame. In the year 2000. who. In 2008. sustained and stable flight on a glider was not achieved until the early 1890s by Otto Lilienthal — hundreds of years after Leonardo. But a glider based on Leonardo’s wing designs was made for a BBC-TV special in 2003. It created more than enough lift to carry the pilot a considerable distance. Your goal is to create a design that can carry an egg “safely” to the ground when dropped from the top of a ladder.000-foot trip from a helicopter to earth using Leonardo’s design — but omitted the possibly dangerous frame from his chute.
The Airscrew is one of Leonardo’s most famous designs because it seems to be an ancestor of the helicopter. and that is part of what gives helicopters their lift. he made the first 7. Leonardo came up with a design for the first fit-for-human-use parachute. to keep humans aloft. could lift themselves off the ground.000 feet of the journey after jumping from a hot-air balloon using Leonardo’s design. The craft would be operated by four men. do at least five trials (or as many as you need to get your design to work). It is clear that the mechanism could never have taken off. rather than manpower. He then cut himself loose and floated the remaining 3.
Model and original sketch of Leonardo’s Airscrew
You can design and test parachutes of your own by using hard-boiled eggs as passengers. The first recorded. Before showing the class. Demonstrate your invention to the class. Swiss adventurer Olivier ViettiTeppa made a complete 2. by quickly rotating the center shaft.
In 1485. Record what materials you used.
.000 feet to the ground using a modern parachute. but didn’t test it (for a few obvious reasons).7
Model of Leonardo’s Parachute
Gliding and Wind
After his early failures. Fearing that he might get hit by the frame on impact when landing. Leonardo looked seriously at wind and aerodynamics. and what improvements you made after each trial. His studies led him to create a series of gliders.
which may be more symbolic than fact. young people who wanted to be artists studied within a formal system of apprenticeship. What do you think she’s thinking about?
Leonardo’s sketch of horse and rider
Leonardo’s Mona Lisa
. France.” Leonardo’s out-of-the-way angel is the best thing in the painting. such as sweeping. but is still revealing. But the most famous part of the painting is Lisa del Giocondo’s mysterious expression. As the story goes. he put down his paintbrush forever — he knew his pupil was better than he was. known as “La Gioconda” or the “Mona Lisa. he painted an angel in the bottom left part of a work called “The Baptism of Christ. The best students would be allowed to help the master by painting backgrounds and lesser figures while the artist focused on the main subject.
Leonardo’s portrait of Lisa del Giocondo. The best of the best would become masters themselves and would be allowed to open a studio and hire apprentices of their own. running errands. There is a famous story about Leonardo and his apprenticeship. While Leonardo was the apprentice of the renowned and accomplished master Andrea del Verrocchio. and grinding up and mixing the ingredients for paints. the delicate veil and the embroidery on her dress. when Andrea del Verrocchio saw Leonardo’s angel. There’s much to admire in the execution of the details in the painting: the folds of the fabric. Eventually. casting sculptures and drawing sketches. about 6 million people a year visit the “Mona Lisa” in its climate-controlled. he’d begin to learn from the master by copying paintings. Today.leonardo’s art
Becoming a Master
In Leonardo’s time. The composition and the use of light draw the viewer’s focus right to her face. When an apprentice first started training with a master artist.” may be the best-known painting in the world. All are hoping to figure out what her secret is. bullet-proof-glass home in The Louvre museum in Paris. low-level tasks. he’d do basic.
The Da Vinci Code
Leonardo has been famous for more than 500 years. The interplay and body language are fascinating. Leonardo portrayed the scene as an interlocking group made up of four sets of three people each.
.” Notice the ceiling and walls in the picture. stick to history. but he got an extra boost of star power when some of his works were featured prominently in Dan Brown’s best selling book “The Da Vinci Code” and the movie based on it. Look at these two examples. Each of these little groups has a dynamic of its own. Which is which? Look at “The Last Supper” again. has knocked over the salt in his surprise). the figure at the center of the painting. Leonardo used his mastery of linear perspective when he painted “The Last Supper. By making all of the lines that would be parallel in real life diagonal in varying degrees (except in the center of the ceiling). One of the ways of accomplishing this was to create a sense of depth. rather than flat. as if the viewer were standing in front of the middle of the table. The painting at the Milan church is meant to portray the exact moment in the life of Jesus when he reveals that one of his must trusted friends will betray him. who is turned away from the viewer. If you want to learn more about the real Leonardo. making the objects in pictures appear as if they were threedimensional. It’s important to remember that the story is made up to be dramatic and entertaining. Can you figure out what the vanishing point is in the painting?
The Last Supper
When Leonardo painted “The Last Supper” on the wall of the dining hall at the Church of Santa Maria della Grazie. The book uses some cleverly mixed facts and fiction about Leonardo’s works to create tricky puzzles and mysteries for the characters (and readers) to solve. he took great pains to make sure that each of the faces reflected a distinct and strong emotion. These “visual rays” are called orthogonal lines. One shows the perspective from the center of a sidewalk and the other from the right side. Also notice that the men on the outside right and left appear to be farther away than Jesus.9
Leonardo’s The Last Supper
The Renaissance aesthetic — or style — was to make the subjects of paintings look as real as possible. Leonardo gives the viewer the sense that the table is closer than the back wall. This is accomplished by creating a vanishing point in the horizon where all the lines that are parallel in real life would appear to meet if they continued. as are the little telling details (notice
how the betrayer Judas. and that the landscape outside is far away. Instead of showing 12 shocked and dismayed people staring at Jesus.
The idea was that even if an enemy’s boat hit the side of the double-hull boat. When designing the hull of his agile paddleboat. Unlike traditional boats with oars. Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He didn’t have an airplane. To protect boats. washing and growing crops.
Model of Leonardo’s Naval Cannon
. For naval warfare. Leonardo da Vinci explored different types of travel via water. Many of Europe’s kingdoms also had impressive navies for war and battles against each other. Leonardo considered the shape of fish.
the renaissance Man
Leonardo noted. it still wouldn’t sink. Leonardo the mechanical engineer also invented an automatic saw that used hydraulic power for energy.water
Innovations with Water
Water is useful stuff. Leonardo invented a double hull for boats that gave the sides
and bottom two layers of protection. much as he considered birds in his design of aircrafts.
Model of Leonardo’s Double-Hull Boat
Building Better Boats
In 1492. The boat’s large paddles would have been worked by hand
or foot cranks and may have been aided by flywheels. though Leonardo was working on that. Boats were a solid Renaissance way to travel long distances. correctly. blood traveling through the heart and air blown through a narrow space all swirl in similar ways. that water leaving through a narrow channel. the design of this boat allowed rowers to face forward and see where they were heading. defenses and weapons for military vessels and ways humans could better explore and move over water without boats. it can be used for transportation and even generating energy. Leonardo made plans to equip special boats with revolving platforms on which lines of cannons could be positioned or a large square mortar from which projectiles could be fired. This defense system was a particularly good protection against ramming. Aside from being necessary for drinking.
slatted paddle wheels spun by flowing water. The wheel’s axle was connected to gears and cams that could be arranged to change the speed and direction of the motion until it was transformed into something useful. Explain what you think the results mean in a conclusion. Report your results. Design a simple experiment to test a hypothesis about the way water moves or the way an object interacts with water. date back to ancient times. With this design. Make a list of materials you’ll need. Another was a set of little boats to attach to your feet for walking on water (this didn’t work). such as turning millstones to grind wheat into flour. Watermills. the wood was pushed forward as it was being sawed. which feature large.
Model of Leonardo’s Paddle Vessel
. Diving masks to remain underwater weren’t new. which goes up and down. Create step-by-step instructions for how to conduct the experiment. to a carriage that held the tree trunks. Other designs included an inflatable ring-shaped leather lifesaver to be used for buoyancy or emergency air in a pinch People in Leonardo’s times knew how to harness the power of water to create energy.
Model of Leonardo’s Hydraulic Saw
Leonardo was interested in hydrodynamics — the way water moves and the way objects in water move.
Hydraulic Saw Man Overboard!
Leonardo created several inventions for personal “aquatic movement. Follow them.” One was a set of huge swimming gloves to be worn on the hands like flippers. but Leonardo tweaked the design and anticipated some features found on modern scuba gear. It featured alternating motion that transmitted motion in quick succession from the blade. Leonardo’s hydraulic saw worked in the same way.1 1
Model of Leonardo’s Leather Lifesaver
and a diving mask with rings to protect against uneven pressure.
Leon Battista Alberti. advocated that artists should draw figures with the full knowledge of what they were made of — bones. The powerful Catholic Church had banned the dissection of humans – which means no one was allowed to cut open a corpse to see what was inside. one that processes what’s going on and one that stores that knowledge. assumptions and observations that could be made on the surface of the body. the words and deeds of man. veins and muscles. architect. appearance and movement. than to imitate in words. organs. He set aside the antiquated ideas found in the textbooks and meticulously drew what he saw. Leonardo was able to make extensive studies of actual dissected human corpses (it seems he was given permission by a few hospitals though the Church ban was still in place).
Leonardo’s sketches of human exteriors and animal interiors
Leonardo’s sketch The Foetus in the Womb
the renaissance man
“It is nobler to imitate things in nature. and that the brain is divided into three linked parts. being from the hand of a master artist. covered with nerves and muscles. doctors and artists had to rely on tradition. anatomy lessons were a huge part of the training.the human machine
The Renaissance Body
When Leonardo da Vinci was studying to be an artist. When trying to figure out the interior anatomy of the human body. which are in fact the real images.
. philosopher and “Renaissance man” of the previous generation. and then flesh and skin. too. each behind the other — one that perceives what’s going on. a renowned author. artist. such as the idea that breast milk is created by the mother in her womb. poet. Later. They also tried to draw conclusions about human bodies from animal dissections. The trouble with that was Renaissance artists couldn’t just look at books on the human skeleton.” — Leonardo
Leonardo’s early anatomical drawings reflect traditional (and often wrong) notions about the body. His drawings were highly detailed and remained the most precise anatomical drawings for hundreds of years. And. Artists looked at human bodies with an eye to structure. they were beautiful.
The problem is that when you put the square perfectly inside the circle. Wells’ patients have reported dramatic improvements. Wells changed his technique.
. Vitruvius said that if you drew a figure of a person within a circle and a square. the center of the body would be the navel (belly button). Then draw and label the muscles and tendons in the second outline. They had to rely on surface observations and unreliable texts. Though it worked. which in turn limited blood flow. is one of the most famous drawings in the world. using reliable resources. Up until Wells’ discovery. Trace the outline of your hand twice. With this in mind. After his style of mitral valve surgery. doctors today have hundreds of years of anatomical studies at their disposal. He was admiring Leonardo’s intricate studies of the way heart valves open and close. Then.
Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man
Renaissance doctors didn’t have x-rays or MRIs or any other way to see what was going on inside their patients. it restricted how much exercise patients could tolerate afterward.1 3
Leonardo Teaches Surgeon — 500 Years Later
Francis Wells. was looking at some of Leonardo’s drawings and notes when he made an incredible realization. you need to draw the arms and legs unnaturally stretched-out in order to touch the sides. Take advantage of that fact and explore the anatomy of your hand.
Vitruvian Man Many Renaissance artists tried to solve a mystery left behind by the ancient Roman architect and engineer Vitruvius. Lucky for you. Leonardo solved the riddle by offsetting the two shapes and making the navel the center of the circle only. and how the blood flows within the heart when he realized how he could better repair his patients’ heart valves. in order to make the navel-centered person fit. Wells observed that Leonardo had noted that the shape of the valve itself was an important factor in how it worked. His “Vitruvian Man. doctors fixed faulty mitral valves — which control the direction of blood flow — by narrowing the diameter of the valves.” which appears on the cover of this special section. draw and label the bones and ligaments in the first outline. a modern-day British heart surgeon.
and only mentioned in passing that he also happened to be a great artist. At first. and gave the warning that such weapons “often wreak as much havoc on friends as on foes. In his letter seeking patronage. Ludovico Sforza. the inherent violence of men and what he saw as the eventual result of war: “By their strong limbs we shall see a great portion of the trees of vast forests laid low throughout the universe… nothing will remain on the earth. In Leonardo’s design. Leonardo didn’t invent this type of machine. the type of blade that is used to cut wheat in the field. the scythes rotated in a huge circle and would mow down anything or anyone in its range. designing handy. or in the waters. but he did make it more efficient. Years later.
Model of Leonardo’s Vessel with Scythe
. Leonardo was a vegetarian and a great lover of animals. grenades. he billed himself as a formidable military engineer. smart and sometimes cruelly effective weapons. He was known to buy caged birds simply to set them free. or under the earth. He also was a talented musician. However. He sang well and played the lyre (a stringed instrument in the same family as the guitar).”
the renaissance man
For at least a part of his life. and it’s how Leonardo got his job with his patron. Leonardo worked mostly as a kind of defense contractor.”
He also created missiles. Building innovative weaponry was lucrative. mortars and a modern-style tank. the artist wrote about his abhorrence of war.war and weapons
Leonardo da Vinci loved life — and respected it. he lived in a time when wars. duchies and principalities were commonplace across Europe. You may have seen one in a depiction of the Grim Reaper. which was ancient in design. the Duke of Milan. invasions and battles between kingdoms.
Model of Leonardo’s Scythe Machine
One was a gruesome war machine propelled by horses that featured long scythes. multi-barreled machine guns.
Try making a catapult of your own. The basic idea of a catapult is that a projectile is rested on one end of a lever in which tension is stored. • The graphic designer was Heidi Karl. By experimenting with jets of water.
Leonardo designed a few different types of bridges that could be built quickly with materials that were easy to find and to transport (small tree trunks and strong ropes) for military purposes. using only one thick rubber band. Leonardo figured out how air affects the trajectory. or path. Genius” was commissioned from Hollister Kids for Detroit Newspapers In Education.1 5
Models of Leonardo’s Ogival Cannon Balls
Model of Leonardo’s Mobile Bridge
Mistakes on Purpose?
Some of Leonardo’s designs have obvious flaws in them.
. Some scholars. but sturdy plastic spoon.
The study of ballistics is important if you want to make the shots you fire hit the target. Support for this program was provided by the Detroit Science Center. troops who used them could make fast and unexpected movements. He designed projectiles that are incredibly modern with aerodynamic shapes and directional wings. a flexible. Since these bridges made crossing rivers possible. The tension can be created by pulling back a springy lever or by the use of counterweights. When that tension is released. of cannon balls. and a soup can to propel a marshmallow. Hold a class competition. catching the enemy unawares. in a design he created for an armored vehicle.
Leonardo designed his own version of the catapult. • The writer was Martha Michaela Brown. It’s very likely that Leonardo created these flaws on purpose. For instance. • The manager of Detroit Newspapers In Education is Sharon Martin. he arranged the gears in such a way that the wheels would roll in opposite directions — it would have gotten nowhere. Inventor. these
scholars argue that he created the flaws to ensure that his designs couldn’t be used to hurt people. But why? One theory is that he was preventing others from copying his secret designs. however. Since Leonardo was a man who loved peace but worked for a warlord. All rights reserved. Through trial and error. Modern pontoon bridges were inspired by Leonardo’s design. have suggested a stronger reason. the lever flips up and the projectile is sent flying.
Model of Leonardo’s Catapult
The educational supplement “Leonardo da Vinci: Man. • The editor was Peter Landry. which is one of the world’s oldest war machines. figure out the best way and the best angle to attach the spoon to the soup can to get the maximum distance out of a marshmallow launch. Copyright ©2008 Detroit Newspapers LLC.
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