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Born in a Tuscan hill town in 1452 AD, Leonardo would become the true “Renaissance Man.” Full of “unquenchable curiosity” and ideas (perhaps too many), he made a career as an artist, engineer, inventor, journalist, and theorist. Leonardo’s notebooks are full of architectural drawings, notes, and designs for engineering machinery … most of his fancies never realized. Among all the scribblings are thoughts and research on various construction materials and on the relative strengths of various types of pillars, arches, and beams. And he went so far as to design a plan for an “ideal city” and present it to Ludovico il More.
In 1502, da Vinci (never one to be timid) presented a design to the Ottoman Sultan Beyazid II for a single-span 720-foot bridge across the mouth of the Bosporus. In terms of construction, da Vinci may have been involved in a number of civil engineering projects that did eventually get built. He may have worked with Bramante in 1492 in rebuilding the Vigevano Marketplace; he also submitted a model for the new central tower of the Milan Cathedral, although it was rejected. Near the end of his life (he died in 1519) he was making sketches for the French Queen Mother’s castle at Romorantin. Even though many of his architectural plans never came to fruition, these are studied still.
|Great People of Civilization VI|
|Artist • Admiral • Engineer • General • Merchant • Musician • Prophet • Scientist • Writer|