20 Jun 2010

Quotes from Leonardo da Vinci

Posted by jofr

Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) was a famous Italian artist and and inventor. Besides being a painter, he was also a sculptor, architect, engineer, and scientist. In fact he had a multiplicity of interests that motivated him to pursue the edge of knowledge in many important fields, for instance medicine, architecture, and engineering. Leonardo was valued as an engineer and admired for his technological ingenuity. In his spare time he had visions of flying machines that resembled inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Here are some of his quotes, first some about creativity:

Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is doing something else.

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.

About truth and understanding:

Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness.

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

From his notebooks:

When you put your hand in a flowing stream, you touch the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes

He who, without Fame, burns his life to waste, leaves no more vestige of himself on earth than wind-blown smoke, or the foam upon the sea

The last quote is actually a quote itself, it is based on Dante’s, Inferno, 24:49–51: “He who, without Fame, burns his life to waste leaves no more vestige of himself on earth than wind-blown smoke, or foam upon the water”

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