Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Emily. Emily Wonders, “Who is leonardo da vinci” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Emily!

What comes to mind when you hear the name Leonardo? Many kids might picture a ninja turtle in a blue mask. Leonardo is indeed the name of one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And, like the other three ninja turtles, he’s named after a real Italian Renaissance artist. Who are we talking about? Leonardo da Vinci, of course!

Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452. He grew up near the town of Vinci in the Tuscany region of Italy. Da Vinci lived a humble life in his early years. He had little formal education, but did learn the basics of reading, writing, and math.

Early on, da Vinci’s talent for art became clear. At the age of 14, he moved to Florence. There, he studied under the famous artist Andrea del Verrocchio. His education in the arts was wide-ranging. He learned painting, drawing, sculpture, carpentry, and metalwork.

Many people call Leonardo da Vinci one of the greatest artists of all time. His most famous work, the Mona Lisa, hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris. It is one of the most famous and valuable pieces of art in the world.

Da Vinci also created The Last Supper. This is the most widely reproduced religious painting ever. His drawing called Vitruvian Man is also famous worldwide. It’s printed on clothing, books, and even coins.

Despite his fame as an artist, fewer than two dozen of da Vinci’s paintings survived. He also left behind many notebooks. They are filled with drawings and his thoughts on art. 

But Leonardo da Vinci wasn’t only an artist. He had many talents. His interests included architecture, engineering, and mathematics. Da Vinci also studied physics, music, and literature, among many other topics. He felt that science and art were connected. The study of the laws of science and nature helped shape his work as an artist.

A true Renaissance man, da Vinci was also an inventor. Da Vinci drew early sketches of devices that would later become the parachute, bicycle, helicopter, and tank. He even drew a flying machine. It was based on the physiology of the bat.

Today, da Vinci is seen as one of the most talented people in history. Scholars believe his genius was the product of vast curiosity and WONDER.

In his last years, da Vinci became the “Premier Painter and Engineer and Architect” to King Francis I of France. He continued to study and draw until his death in 1519.

Are you interested in many topics like da Vinci was? It’s always interesting to learn how different subjects can be connected. Do you think science influences art? What are some examples you can think of?

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, NCAS.A.1

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