The building was erected from 1868 to 1873, and mixes elements of the Neo-Renaissance and Second Empire architectural styles. It has an abundance of ornaments and sculptures, created by famous artists, amongst them also Auguste Rodin. Today it's used for exhibitions.
Of Leonardo da Vinci I mostly knew that he was a painter and had painted the famous "Mona Lisa". But that he also was an inventor, artist, anatomist, sculptor, engineer, musician, architect, philosopher, ... but above all a man of genius, and a visionary, was quiet new to me. This man invented things centuries ago which today we are able to make and which we use. He was centuries in advance of his time. We could see
70 three-dimensional full size machines, reproductions of anatomical sketches drawn by Da Vinci,
the secrets of the Mona Lisa and identical replicas of artworks
Da Vinci was born out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina. Little is known about Leonardo's early life. He spent his first five years in the home of his mother, then from 1457 on he lived with his father, in the small town of Vinci. Amazing is to me, that at this time the father took care of his illegitimate child and payed for his education.
He made anatomical designs, as if he had x-ray eyes !
What impressed me the most was the drawing of a baby in his mother's womb in a time where men didn't even know why their wife's belly became like a balloon !
I couldn't read his writings because they were in mirror-image and I had no mirror with me of course. It is said that the reason may have been more a practical expediency than for reasons of secrecy as is often suggested. Since Leonardo wrote with his left hand, it is probable that it was easier for him to write from right to left.
He thought already about being able to fly
measure the wind speed
using a submarine
invented flippers and a diving costume
There was a little mirror room which showed that you could see yourself from all sides
He even was a fashion designer !
and of course he painted the Mona Lisa. Apparently he painted mostly to earn some money which he then used for his researches.
You can read more about his life and creations here
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