Leonardo da Vinci Quotes

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, 1452 – 1519

Born: 15 April 1452, Vinci, Fiorenza
Died: 2 May 1519, Amboise, Louraine, France

Leonardo was the illegitimate son of Ser piero da Vinci. He was apprenticed to the artist Andrea del Verrocchio, but soon developed his own style which became the High Renaissance standard when Michaelangelo and Raphael adopted it twenty years later. His primary work was art, but his imaginative and inventive mind let him serve, at various times, as an inventor, scientist, engineer, architect, painter, sculptor, musician, mathematician, anatomist, astronomer, geologists, biologist, and philosopher. He wrote the first textbook of human anatomy and was the first to comprehend that the light of the moon was reflected sunlight. He flitted from one thought to another with great speed, finishing very little, the ultimate poster child for Attention Deficit Disorder, but I’m not sure there has been another human mind of such insight and range.

Leonardo da Vinci quotes:

A good painter is to paint two main things, namely, man and the workings of man’s mind. The first is easy, the second difficult.
    Leonardo da Vinci

A gray day provides the best light.
    Leonardo da Vinci

A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.
    Leonardo da Vinci

A painter was asked why, since he made such beautiful figures, which were but dead things, his children were so ugly; to which the painter replied that he made his pictures by day, and his children by night.
    Leonardo da Vinci

All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Although nature commences with reason and ends in experience it is necessary for us to do the opposite, that is to commence with experience and from this to proceed to investigate the reason.
    Leonardo da Vinci

An artist’s studio should be a small space because small rooms discipline the mind and large ones distract it.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Art is never finished, only abandoned.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Art lives from constraints and dies from freedom.
    Leonardo da Vinci

As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
    Leonardo da Vinci

As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself.
    Leonardo da Vinci

As iron rusts from disuse, and still water becomes stagnant, so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Ask counsel of him who rules himself well.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Be eager to lend a patient ear to the opinions of others and think long and hard whether whoever finds fault has reason or not to censure you. And if the answer is yes, correct the fault. If no, give the impression that you have not heard him, or if he is a man whom you respect, explain to him why he is mistaken.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Be not false about the past.
    Leonardo da Vinci

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

Black is like a broken vessel, which is deprived of the capacity to contain anything.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Blinding ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!
    Leonardo da Vinci

Do not imitate one another’s style. If you do, so far as your art is concerned you will be called a grandson, rather than the son of Nature.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Even the richest soil, if left uncultivated, will produce the rankest weeds.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Every action needs to be prompted by a motive. To know and to will are two operations of the human mind. Discerning, judging, deliberating are acts of the human mind.
    Leonardo da Vinci

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.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Every obstacle is destroyed through rigor.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Experience does not err; only your judgments err by expecting from her what is not in her power.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Fame alone raises herself to Heaven, because virtuous things are in favour with God.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Feathers shall raise men even as they do birds, toward heaven; that is by letters written with their quills.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Fire is to represent truth because it destroys all sophistry and lies; and the mask is for lying and falsehood which conceal truth.
    Leonardo da Vinci

For in truth great love is born of great knowledge of the thing loved.
    Leonardo da Vinci

He only moves toward the perfection of his art whose criticism surpasses his achievement.
    Leonardo da Vinci

He turns not back who is bound to a star.
    Leonardo da Vinci

He who despises painting has no love for the philosophy in nature.
    Leonardo da Vinci

He who does not punish evil commands it to be done.
    Leonardo da Vinci

He who possesses most must be most afraid of loss.
    Leonardo da Vinci

He who thinks little, errs much.
    Leonardo da Vinci

He who walks straight rarely falls.
    Leonardo da Vinci

He who wishes to be rich in a day will be hanged in a year.
    Leonardo da Vinci

How painting surpasses all human works by reason of the subtle possibilities which it contains.
    Leonardo da Vinci

Human subtlety … will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature, because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.
    Leonardo da Vinci

I am not to blame for putting forward, in the course of my work on science, any general rule derived from a previous conclusion.
    Leonardo da Vinci

I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have.
    Leonardo da Vinci

I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand…. These questions and other strange phenomena engage my thought throughout my life.
    Leonardo da Vinci

I wish to work miracles.
    Leonardo da Vinci

I would venture to affirm that a man cannot attain excellence if he satisfy the ignorant and not those of his own craft, and if he be not ‘singular’ or ‘distant,’ or whatever you like to call him.
    Leonardo da Vinci

If anyone wishes to see how the soul dwells in its body, let him observe how this body uses its daily habitation; that is to say, if this is devoid of order and confused, the body will be kept in disorder and confusion by its soul.
    Leonardo da Vinci

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