What Are Leonardo da Vinci's Accomplishments?

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The Vitruvian Man is one of da Vinci's well-known creations.
The Vitruvian Man is one of da Vinci's well-known creations. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Leonardo da Vinci is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant minds in human history. His accomplishments in the fields of art, engineering and math are unmatched. In addition to painting some of the most well-known works of art of all time, he also invented prototypes of machines that would not be realized until generations after his death.

Art

Leonardo da Vinci, despite all his other accomplishments, is probably known best for his paintings. This is due to his painting of arguably the most famous painting of all time, the "Mona Lisa." The fame of the "Mona Lisa" has endured not just because of the immaculate technique and beauty of the painting, but also because of the mystery that surrounds the subject of the painting and her enigmatic smile. Da Vinci also painted the "Last Supper," a famous depiction of the last meal of Jesus with his disciples.

Inventions

Leonardo's inventions and designs are most famous in the area of flight. He invented an improved model of a parachute, designed an early version of the helicopter and designed a glider that by all modern engineering estimations would have actually been capable of flight. He also had inventions in the field of military technology and designed some of the earliest machine-gun concepts.

Science

Da Vinci made contributions to numerous fields of science. He created a model of the perfectly proportionate man, known as the Vitruvian Man. Even though he would not see the science recognized, he contributed hugely to the field of optics and lenses, understanding the possibility of using lenses to create magnification in a manner that would eventually lead to telescopes. He wrote extensively on natural phenomena such as erosion and the ways in which mountains were created. He understood the way that sedimentary rock was built up in progressive layers over time.

Other Fields

Da Vinci had accomplishments in almost all fields. He was a recognized musician and poet as well as an artist. He was an expert mathematician; his work in mathematics influenced his other works, including his inventions. Even his art, such as "The Last Supper," exhibits an expert knowledge of the golden ratio, an advanced mathematical concept. His work in philosophy is also highly regarded. For all these reasons, he is considered as one of the greatest minds of all time.

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