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 writing would have stopped the ink smudging as he wrote.
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?
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.
Leonardo da Vinci Inventions
Leonardo da Vinci was a brilliant scientist, engineer and inventor. Here are a few of his most famous inventions.
Leonardo da Vinci wasn’t the first to come up with the idea of a parachute, but his was more sophisticated than earlier designs. British skydiver Adrian Nicholas proved Leonardo’s design worked by jumping with a parachute built following Leonardo’s design 500 years after Leonardo sketched it!
Leonardo’s design for a diving suit is very similar to the first prototypes of what we think of as a diving suit today.
Tanks were not actually used until World War 1, but Leonardo designed them 500 years earlier!
Discover more about Leonardo da Vinci’s incredible inventions over at History Lists.