Leonardo da Vinci Day

April 15, 2017 | RayL

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Leonardo da Vinci

Image. Leonardo da Vinci by Raphael Morgen, 1817. Public Domain. LACMA


Written by Teresa I.

On April 15, we celebrate the life and work of a true Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci. Although most of us know him as the painter of the Mona Lisa, da Vinci was a master of all trades: an inventor, artist, engineer, and great thinker. In honour of Leonardo’s 565th birthday, here are a few fun facts about the master:

  1. Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 in a village called Anchiano and grew up in his father’s hometown of Vinci in Tuscany. This is why he is known as Leonardo da Vinci, which literally means Leonardo “of Vinci.”
  1. Da Vinci had very little education, except for basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills. However, it was clear that he had very strong artistic talents, so he was apprenticed to artist Andrea del Verrocchio as a teenager. It was here that he further developed his skills and learned the basics of drawing, painting, sculpting, and metal working, to name a few.
  1. Aside from being a great painter, Leonardo was also a scientist and inventor. He kept notebooks filled with his designs and ideas that years later would become a reality. According to the Museum of Science Boston, “his work covered four main themes: painting, architecture, the elements of mechanics, and human anatomy.”
  1. Leonardo wrote in mirror script, meaning he wrote in reverse from right to left. His reasons are unknown, but if your child wants to try it out themselves try the Mirror Writing Activity provided by the Museum of Science Boston.

And if your little ones are interested in doing some research of their own, check out some these great books on everything Leonardo:

 Da Vinci and His Times

Da Vinci and his Times by Andrew Langley

 Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci by Kathleen Krull

  Leonardo da Vinci The Genuis Who Defined the Renaissance

Leonardo da Vinci: The Genius who Defined the Renaissance by John Phillips

 Leonardo da Vinci, by Mike Venezia 

Leonardo da Vinci by Mike Venezia

 Monday With a Mad Genius

Monday with a Mad Genius by Mary Pope Osborne

 Neo Leo

Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci by Gene Barretta

  Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself

Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself by Maxine Anderson

And of course, if your child needs assistance with their research, you can always drop by any of our 100 branches and speak to our helpful staff.