5 interesting things about Leonardo da Vinci, history's most famous polymath
His inventions were centuries ahead of his time, his paintings defined the Renaissance – what else do you know about this legendary genius? Read on to find 5 Leonardo da Vinci facts that might surprise you.
#1 He was ambidextrous and wrote from right to left
It's possible to read Leonardo's texts only by looking at them through a mirror. Earlier, a popular theory suggested that he did it to encrypt his writings; today, most researchers agree that da Vinci would use a more complicated secret code to do so. Most probably, he was originally left-handed and it was easier for him to write in reverse.
#2 He was schooled at home
Leonardo never received any formal education in Latin or mathematics. At the age of 15, he started apprenticeship at Andrea del Verrocchio's workshop.
#3 He was an illegitimate offspring
Da Vinci's father was a wealthy lawyer. Very little is known about Leonardo's mother. According to most sources, she was a young peasant woman who gave birth to her son at the age of 15. Leonardo lived with his father, grandparents and uncle. He had 12 half-siblings, as his father remarried multiple times.
#4 He bought and liberated animals that were meant to become food or pets
Leonardo da Vinci was one of the first legendary humans to actively defend the rights of animals. He was a vegetarian and believed that people were also animals, which was completely at odds with the culture of the 16th century.
These Leonardo da Vinci facts prove that he was one of the most outstanding personalities of his time. Later centuries also saw many masterminds – just read these 10 facts about Marie Curie to get surprised.
#5 He never finished the Mona Lisa
Many scientists believe that Leonardo might not have been able to finish his legendary painting due to a severe fainting episode, which left him with an injured arm. Even though he was ambidextrous, Leonardo used only the right hand while working on the Mona Lisa.
If you enjoyed these Leonardo da Vinci facts, try to ace this trivia quiz about him.
Which of these facts about Leonardo da Vinci surprised you the most?
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