Historical Person Of The Year Writing Assignment: Leonardo Da Vinci
As many of you know, I am Leonardo da Vinci. Many people know about my accomplishments and the impacts I’ve made; but not about my background, childhood life, or how I got into art. So, I’m going to share it with you for you to get a better understanding of how my career began. I was born on April 15, 1452, in a small village near Florence called Anchiano. My parents were Piero da Vinci and Caterina di Meo Lippi. My father worked as a lawyer, as did most of his family, but unlike my dad my mom was a peasant. Also, I had 12 half-siblings, 9 brothers and 3 sisters, since my dad remarried multiple times. From a young age, I wasn’t what my parents expected me to be. Since my whole father’s side of the family is in the law field, they wanted me to be too, but unfortunately, I didn’t fit the criteria. I didn’t do the best in school, and I wasn’t quiet or well- behaved like most kids. I always had an urge to figure thing out on my own because of my curiosity.
Furthermore, I always enjoyed exploring and trying out new things. When I was still a little kid I painted and did woodwork because I wanted my hands to stay busy. Something that really annoyed my parents was that I used living animals as models for my work and they often made the house smell rotten and bad. Moreover, in the late 1460s I got an early apprenticeship under Andreasdel Verrocchio which was an amazing painter and sculptor. Verrocchio provided me with many jobs to work on contracts, so I stayed with him as an assistant a few years later, after being done with my apprenticeship. These were the years were my accomplishments and achievements started.
I’ve had many accomplishments throughout my life, but the most well-known ones are in the art field. While I was with Verrocchio we painted “The Baptism of Christ”, a beautiful painting, in 1472. I mostly painted the left angle, landscape, and the skin of the Christ in the painting; which you can tell by my soft shading and shadow parts of the painting. Thanks to Andreasdel Verrocchio, I built up a better reputation over that time period and later, in 1478, I was asked to paint the “Adoration of the Magi”, a church altar. Unfortunately, I never got to finish this amazing job because soon after, in about 1482, I had to leave Florence. This magnificent painting was supposed to be different from the other versions painted before, since I placed Virgin Mary and Jesus in the middle, unlike other artists where they place them to one side.
Moreover, one of my other paintings that is well known is the “Vitruvian man” that I painted in 1487. This drawing shows the study of human proportions based on the claim, the well-shaped man fits into perfect squares and circles, said by a Roman architect named Vitruvius. Lastly, the two most famous paintings of mine are the “Mona Lisa” and the “Last Supper”.
I painted the “Last Supper” in 1497 and didn’t use the normal fresco technique since I wanted to work slowly. I developed a new technique that covering a wall with a special mixture that I created but it didn’t work.
Furthermore, I painted the “Mona Lisa” in 1503, it was a portrait of Francesco del Gioncondo, who is a young wife of a rich Florentine silk merchant. The landscape of the picture showed my studies of geology and proves that I am one of the first people to understand erosion and rock layers show geological times. Additionally, another of my achievements in my life were my notebooks. At first, when I was still younger, I planed on writing books about painting, human movements, and the flight of birds; but I never got the chance to finish them. The notebooks have little pieces and drafts written in them only; that have scientific observations, detailed drawings, and invention ideas in them. So, I am positive that they will help out future scientists and investigators with finding out problems in the future, when my notebooks will be published in about 400 years or so.
Subsequently, I used my drawings to not only express my imagination, but also as a tool for scientific investigation. I changed the art of drawing by making drawings in larger numbers than almost all the artists before me. In fact, I was one of the first artists that sketched to help figure out artistic and architectural work. In addition, I was interested in mechanics and worked as an engineer and military architect before. I created multiple intricate designs for war machines, including tanks, movable bridges, and machine guns. Many of the ideas I had were way before my time and probably are still now. Clearly, as you can tell I‘ve had a lot of achievements in my life time that were really good and even had an impact on others. Some people might even call me the Renaissance man, considering all of my accomplishments.
So far I’ve seen an impact of my hard work paying off, but I am also positive that in the future my work will have a greater impact and I even know how it might happen. I’ve inspired other artists to follow their dreams too.
In 1482, I influenced Filippino Lippi, one of Florence’s most talented young painters that was only 5 years in junior. Later in the 1490s Filippino and other people that got inspired became the leading painters of Florence. I’m so proud of them and couldn’t believe that I inspired someone back then. Seeing them thrive was what really kept me going! I also set an example for other painters with my knowledge of perspective, anatomy, and my observations of nature that were really accurate. Furthermore, I helped and will continue to help people understand the human body. I was always interested in anatomy since a little kid, so all my notebooks are dilled with studies of muscles and tendons. To figure out and help understand the human body better I dissected multiple human bodies to draw detailed drawing of the bones and skull and studied physiology by making wax models of heart and brain, in order to understand the vascular system and the blood flow through it. Also, I created one of the first drawing of organs in the body such as the appendix, reproductive organs, and lungs which will help in the future with deeper studies and with medical studies.
Moreover, I foresaw the age of flight and will have a lot of impact with it on the world. I was one of the first people to create a parachute, it was mad out of wooden poles that were covered in cloth. The cloth was there to slow down the parachute and to let it fall down to the ground from any height, without people getting hurt. Even though this design isn’t perfect, it will take others to build a parachute similar to this about 3 centuries. I am hoping that my design of the parachute will be tested in the future, around the 200s, and will succeed, helping people with the aspect of flying. Also, to help with the aspect of flying I wrote and studied the problem of gravity for human flight. I was the first person that studied how birds fly scientifically, so I tried to apply the same concept to human flight. One of the solutions that I came up with was with compressed air. This had a really big impact on my society right now, because they’re trying to figure out how to use compressed air in other vehicles as well to make transportation easier. So, estimating on the influence this study of mine is having now, I’m almost 100% sure that using compressed air with flying will help out vastly in the future. In addition, my aerial work is now and will continue to influence other later studies about aerodynamics.
One of my greatest designs that will have a great impact on the world is the Aerial Screw, now granted this isn’t the best name for it since I haven’t had much time to think it through, but possibly I could name it the Helicopter. This design’s purpose is to come off the ground with the use of a turning prop or blades. This machine is powered by a rotating platform with 2 people have to be running on. Lastly, I designed one of the first machine guns, known as the 33-barreled organ. My designs and ideas for different kinds of weapons will impact our world in the future. We are surely going to be better in wars with this technology. If other thoughtful engineers build on my weapon ideas and develop them more we will have great protection during the time of war. Thus, as you can see I’ve already had and can ensure that I will continue to have many great impacts on the world with my great work.
As you can see, I’ve had many accomplishments and impacts in my time and the work I’ve made. Currently, I am named “The First Painter and Engineer and Architect of the King” by Francis the first. I should be the person that wins the history person of the year award this year because I’ve worked hard for this very moment my entire life. I have many well-known accomplishment such as, the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, the Vitruvian man, my notebooks, and my observations. It is now April 10, 1519 and I feel my years are coming to an end. The doctors predict that I’m not going to live much longer and that my last days will be around May 2nd. So, it would be an honor to receive this award as a memory of all the great achievements I’ve had and the impact I’ve left. Consequently, it would mean so much to me if you would pick me as the history person of the year and I hope you will.
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