As one of the greatest artists of his time, Leonardo da Vinci has maintained this position till the present even after his death four hundred years ago. An in depth look into his works reveals that they appeared as a result of integration of art and science. He has been described as the original Renaissance Man (Olson, 2009). Other artists describe him as hell-bent on espousing experience even without any formal education. He is a powerful ghost that permeated the world of literature, mathematics, architecture, art and even science. The most shocking fact is that he excelled in all these fields just from studying scholarly books that belonged to his father.
Da Vinci’s favorite subject was mechanics and he was able to make many inventions. The breadth of his entire prowess went to the extent of drawing the design of a submarine, catapults and machine guns. He wrote several meticulously composed scientific books with compelling sketches and notations. In his notebooks, he used his artistic prowess of mirror writing. Therefore, some of the inscriptions could only be read using a mirror or by dyslexics. This implies that the genius displayed both artistic and scientific skills in his works. His insatiable curiosity led him to expound on the controversial subject concerning the age of the Earth. He, thus, contributed a lot of knowledge to geology.
It is through da Vinci’s many sketches that his scientific and artistic ability can be witnessed. In his notes, da Vinci used his artistic skills and imagination to come up with machines that were only of fancy at that time. For instance, he was fascinated with the idea of flight and came up with designs which have striking resemblance to modern airplanes. This is not the only reason why he is considered a technophile; he went to the extent of designing a diving suit, all in drawings. It is obvious that his scientific and artistic talents can be identified. It is almost impossible to describe him only either as an artist or a scientist. However, none of his books have been ever published as he remained Luddite.
The ability to depict knowledge of nature and its processes is quite impressive in Leonardo da Vinci’s activities as both a scientist and an artist. His anatomical drawings depict the muscles and tendons in every part of the body, the skull, a child in his mother’s womb and even trees with all parts intact. Considering these as simple works of art is a misnomer. They are a depiction of the processes of life and what they encompass. It is possible that he was trying to teach science, a subject that was still under suspicion as it was considered to object religion during his time. To the genius, art was a necessary part of science as it encouraged the development of the theories put forward by science. In order to have visual and ground evidence of scientific theories, art was needed.
Leonardo da Vinci scorned those who solely relied on book learning saying that those only presented work of others. According to him, he was an inventor, although he had not attended any formal school. He relied on his experience as an artist and incorporated this into his inventions (Wilson, 2009). Leonardo da Vinci’s notes cannot be compared to those of other artists of his time or any other period. When other artists employed imagination and observation, he dwelt on the scientific part of various aspects and concepts. He transformed science into art. Da Vinci was not just concerned with the collection of visual information, but he used his artistic ability to present that information in an accurate way.