Leonardo da Vinci, fully Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci

da Vinci, fully Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci

Italian Renaissance Polymath, Painter, Sculptor, Inventor, Architect, Musician, Scientist, Mathematician, Engineer, Anatomist, Geologist, Cartographer, Botanist and Writer

Author Quotes

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.

I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.

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.

There is no result in nature without a cause; understand the cause and you will have no need of the experiment.

Experience is never at fault; it is only your judgment that is in error in promising itself such results from experience as are not caused by our experiments. For having given a beginning, what follows from it must necessarily be a natural development of such a beginning, unless it has been subject to a contrary influence, while, if it is affected by any contrary influence, the result which ought to follow from the aforesaid beginning will be found to partake of this contrary influence in a greater or less degree in proportion as the said influence is more or less powerful than the aforesaid beginning.

Good culture is born of a good disposition; and since the cause is more to be praised than the effect, I will rather praise a good disposition without culture, than good culture without the disposition.

It is true that impatience, the mother of stupidity, praises brevity, as if such persons had not life long enough to serve them to acquire a complete knowledge of one single subject, such as the human body; and then they want to comprehend the mind of God in which the universe is included, weighing it minutely and mincing it into infinite parts, as if they had to dissect it!

The line has in itself neither matter nor substance and may rather be called an imaginary idea than a real object; and this being its nature it occupies no space. Therefore an infinite number of lines may be conceived of as intersecting each other at a point, which has no dimensions and is only of the thickness (if thickness it may be called) of one single line.

To lie is so vile, that even if it were in speaking well of godly things it would take off something from God's grace; and Truth is so excellent, that if it praises but small things they become noble.

Supreme happiness will be the greatest cause of misery, and the perfection of wisdom the occassion of folly.

Tell me if anything was ever done.

Things that are separate shall be united and acquire such virtue that they will restore to man his lost memory.

Men out of fear will cling to the thing they most fear.

What is called Nothingness is to be found only in time and in speech. In time it stands between the past and future and has no existence in the present; and thus in speech it is one of the things of which we say: They are not, or they are impossible.

Wherever good fortune enters, envy lays siege to the place and attacks it; and when it departs, sorrow and repentance remain behind.

Reprove your friend in secret and praise him openly.

Truth was the only daughter of Time.

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.

The part always has a tendency to reunite with its whole in order to escape from its imperfection.

The motive power is the cause of all life.

The earth is not in the centre of the Sun's orbit nor at the centre of the universe, but in the centre of its companion elements, and united with them. And any one standing on the moon, when it and the sun are both beneath us, would see this our earth and the element of water upon it just as we see the moon, and the earth would light it as it lights us.

Truth at last cannot be hidden. Dissimulation is of no avail. Dissimulation is to no purpose before so great a judge. Falsehood puts on a mask. Nothing is hidden under the sun.

The eye, which is called the window of the soul, is the principal means by which the central sense can most completely and abundantly appreciate the infinite works of nature; and the ear is the second, which acquires dignity by hearing of the things the eye has seen. If you, historians, or poets, or mathematicians had not seen things with your eyes you could not report of them in writing. And if you, O poet, tell a story with your pen, the painter with his brush can tell it more easily, with simpler completeness and less tedious to be understood. And if you call painting dumb poetry, the painter may call poetry blind painting. Now which is the worse defect? to be blind or dumb? Though the poet is as free as the painter in the invention of his fictions they are not so satisfactory to men as paintings; for, though poetry is able to describe forms, actions and places in words, the painter deals with the actual similitude of the forms, in order to represent them. Now tell me which is the nearer to the actual man: the name of man or the image of the man. The name of man differs in different countries, but his form is never changed but by death.

The sun gives spirit and life to plants and the earth nourishes them with moisture.

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da Vinci, fully Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci
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Italian Renaissance Polymath, Painter, Sculptor, Inventor, Architect, Musician, Scientist, Mathematician, Engineer, Anatomist, Geologist, Cartographer, Botanist and Writer