Leonardo da Vinci Mirror Writing

Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, scientist and inventor who lived between 1452 and 1519. Leonardo is probably most famous for painting the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, but as well as painting he kept journals full of drawings of the different subjects he was studying, these included anatomical drawings, a design for a flying machine, musical instruments and even bridges.

Leonardo wrote his notes using a kind of shorthand he invented himself and also mirrored his writing, writing from right to left.

It’s though he only wrote normally when his writing was intended for other people. One theory of why he used mirror writing is that he wanted to keep his hands clean, as a left hander mirror wiritng would have stopped the ink smudging as he wrote.





Leonardo Da Vinci - mirror writing


Try to write your name backwards using the hand you normally write with, do you have to think much more carefully? Check you’ve done it correctly using a mirror.

Now try writing backwards using the hand you don’t write with, how do you find that?

Is it easier if you use a mirror?

mirror writing

Extension Idea

Is it easier if you write with both hands at the same time, with one writing backwards and one forwards?

More Leonardo da Vinci Facts

He was an expert in human anatomy.

His most famous paintings are the Mona Lisa, the Vitruvian Man and the Last Supper.

He lived during the Renaissance (14th -17th century ), a period that led to important developments in areas such as art and science, bridging the gap between the Middle Ages and Modern History.

Leonardo da Vinci was multi-talented.  He was an inventor, scientist, mathematician, engineer, writer and musician.

amous Scientists - Leonardo da Vinci

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