The quintessential Renaissance Man
He was not only a true "Renaissance man" but its paragon example.
Leonardo da Vinci, genius in many fields, for us almost is the Renaissance, exemplifying so very well what Sir Francis Bacon later said when questioned pompously at the Royal Court as to what town or province he came from. Bacon replied, "All knowledge is my province!"
When Leonardo dealt with life, when he dealt with the universe, he was dealing with the Universe, regardless of whatever narrow fields or specialized slits we conventionally use to peer through to some aspect of it.
Whatever problem came his way or caught his attention, he would draw upon whatever was available to him to solve it and reach beyond that, whether as an engineer, a mechanic, an artisan, a physicist, a designer, a sculptor, an artist. Whatever caught his attentionand a very great range and number of things did!became an avenue of meaningful discovery and systematic exploration.
Once of his most famous works is the "Vitruvian Man," a study in proportions enclosed by both a circle and a square. Wikipedia has a comprehensive entry and references on this work.
Da Vinci's Notebooks, perhaps the finest example ever of a recorded relationship between the universe and a brilliant, passionate, creative and inquiring human being, stands as prime model and as precursor to our "Portable Memory Bank" and self-Socratic procedures in modern-day Project Renaissance.
And da Vinci's paragon example as a Renaissance man stands as a compelling personal model and objective for us in Project Renaissance. If our appropriate educational methods and aims become actualized, either through an existing institution or through our proposed Renaissance University, one of the key functions there will be to turn "ordinary" human beings into true Renaissance men and women.
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