Words of Wisdom–Leonardo da Vinci

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Leonardo da Vinci (April 15, 1452—May 2, 1519) was an Italian artist, scientist, architect, and engineer. He’s considered one of the greatest painters of all time, along with being a technological genius.

Incredibly, da Vinci had no formal training beyond being taught to write, read, and do basic math. He was also ambidextrous and believed in reincarnation.

Below we list some words of wisdom by Leonardo da Vinci.

“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.”

“You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand.”

“Just as food eaten without appetite is a tedious nourishment, so does study without zeal damage the memory by not assimilating what it absorbs.”

“Good men by nature, wish to know. I know that many will call this useless work… men who desire nothing but material riches and are absolutely devoid of that of wisdom, which is the food and only true riches of the mind.”

“It is better to imitate ancient than modern work.”

“Nature is the source of all true knowledge. She has her own logic, her own laws, she has no effect without cause nor invention without necessity.”

“Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel.”

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.”

“Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness.”

“Men of lofty genius sometimes accomplish the most when they work least, for their minds are occupied with their ideas and the perfection of their conceptions, to which they afterwards give form.”

“Nature never breaks her own laws.”

“Just as courage imperils life, fear protects it.

“Necessity is the mistress and guide of nature. Necessity is the theme and inventress of nature, her curb and her eternal law.”

“Every action needs to be prompted by a motive.”

“You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself.”

“Common Sense is that which judges the things given to it by other senses.”

“You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself.”

“As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself.”

“Painting is concerned with all the 10 attributes of sight; which are: Darkness, Light, Solidity and Color, Form and Position, Distance and Propinquity, Motion and Rest.”

“There are four Powers: memory and intellect, desire and covetousness. The two first are mental and the others sensual. The three senses: sight, hearing and smell cannot well be prevented; touch and taste not at all.”

“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.”

“Intellectual passion drives out sensuality.”

“The Medici created and destroyed me.”

“Science is the captain, and practice the soldiers.”

“Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.”

“The function of muscle is to pull and not to push, except in the case of the genitals and the tongue.”

“The beginnings and ends of shadow lie between the light and darkness and may be infinitely diminished and infinitely increased. Shadow is the means by which bodies display their form. The forms of bodies could not be understood in detail but for shadow.”

“All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.”

“In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time.”

“Time abides long enough for those who make use of it.”

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