Essay About Leonardo Da Vinci Essay Example For College

Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the town of Vinci, Italy, in 1452 on April 15, a natural child of ser Piero. Ser Piero was a successful government official, and his mother, Caterina, a peasant girl in service with the family.

Leonardo spent his early years on his family farm. Free to explore in the fields and streams, he grew to love the outdoors and he had a keen interest in how things worked. He was always full of questions and wonderment. By 1469Leonardo had moved with his father to Florence, where the young man was apprenticed to the painter and sculptor, Andrea del Verrocchio. He learned the techniques of drawing, painting, and sculpting. In the seven years or more Leonardo spent in Verrocchio’s studio he was especially inspired by his teacher’s imaginative sculpture. 1472 listed Leonardo as a master of the painter’s guild. A few years later he painted such a beautiful angel that Verrocchio, his master, is said to have, given up painting for good. (TheNew Book of Knowledge page 153. L volume 11, 1967, Grolier Incorporated, NewYork, New York).

After this Leonardos skill as a painter must have been known, because he painted an altarpiece, The Adoration of Kings, for the monks of Saint Donate of scope to in 1478. About 1482, Leonardo left Florence to enter the house of Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. He performed a variety of services there. He painted court portraits, supervised pageants, designed costumes, built machines of war, and even installed control heating in the palace. He also supposedly played the lyre and sang to entertain the Duke and his friends.

While in Milan, Leonardo worked on his magnificent painting, The Last Supper, in 1495. Before that, in 1492, he designed costumes (as I mentioned earlier) for the wedding of Ludovico il Moro and Beatrice dEste. Also in that time frame, there was the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and Columbus sails to the NewWorld. He also painted in that time a portrait of Cecilia Gallerani, Ludovicosmistress, a woman of wit and beauty, who for many years shone at the Milanese court. The severe hairstyle emphasizes the perfection of her face and striking eyes. The white ermine she holds is a symbol of purity; its name in Greek suggests her name.

One of Leonardo’s greatest interests was the study of the human body. At first, like other artists of the 15th century, he studied the outward appearance of the body. Then he became fascinated with its inner structure and dissected corpses to find out how the body was put together. Perhaps the most stunning drawings in Leonardos notebooks are those that show his careful study of autonomy. He did not approach anatomy as an artist, he approached anatomy as a scientist. (Leonardo Da Vinci Diane Stanley. Pg.18., 1996, WilliamMorrow and Company, Incorporated. New York, New York.) His studies of the heart in particular were very advanced. Leonardo looked at plants as closely as he looked at men and animals, and he made many discoveries about plant growth.

Soon after he arrived in Milan, Leonardo began to write down things that interested him. His notebooks show the great variety and originality of his scientific observations. He illustrated his theories with very beautiful and exact drawings. By studying his drawings of machines, twentieth-century engineers, with modern materials, have been able to build models that worked perfectly. The notebooks are hard to read because he used mirror writing. He did not want his ideas to be stolen.

Leonardos life in the court of Milan was suddenly interrupted in 1499 by the invasion of the French Army. Leonardos patron, Lodovico, was taken prisoner, and Leonardo fled to Venice. He left with the mathematician, Luca Pacioli. He was a Franciscan Friar and a man of science. He knew Leonardo in Milan and awakened his interests in mathematics. Leonardo stayed at Vaprio, in Mantua, where he makes two portraits of Isabella dEste. In March 1500, about a year later, he went back o Florence, still an active center of art. He was given the commission to paint an altarpiece for the church of the Annunziata. When his full-scale drawing of the Virgin and Child with St. Anne was placed on public view, people filed by for two days and admired it enthusiastically.

In 1502, Leonardo briefly served Prince Cesare Borgia in Rome as a military engineer and architect. This is the period of time where he studied fortification Systems and War Machines. He designed the catapult, cannon foundry, large crossbow, and a design for a gun with an array of horizontal barrels. In 1503 he returned to Florence, where he spent a few very productive years. For example, he painted the Mona Lisa in 1503, and the FlorentineRepublic commissioned him to paint the Battle of Anghiari in the great hall also in the year of 1503, the Palazzo Vecchio(1503). In 1504 he begins work on the Battle of Anghiari, In this particular painting, Leonardo experimented with wax paint. The work began to melt even before he finished it. Now Leonardo and Michelangelo were enemies but it is still said that Michelangelo wept and the city council was plunged to gloom. (The New Book of Knowledge page155. L volume 11, 1967, Grolier Incorporated, New York, New York). Leonardo was disappointed, but as a scientist, he knew that to achieve success a man must expect some experiments to fail. In the year of 1504, Michelangelo completed his David and Raphael moved to Florence and was deeply influenced by Leonardoswork.

In the year of 1508, Leonardo leaves Florence and returns to Milan and devotes himself to geology and autonomy. In Rome, Michelangelo is commissioned to paint the Sistine Ceiling. In 1513 Leonardo was invited to Rome by GiulianodeMedici, a brother of Pope Leo the fifth. There he continued his experiments and he remained there for three years, while pursues mathematical and scientific studies. Leonardo drew up the plans to drain the Pontine marshes, in the year of1514. Also in that same year the master architect, the death of Bramante and Raphael succeeds him as the architect of St, Peter’. Sometime in 1516 Leonardoleft Italy to become chief painter and engineer to the King of France. KingFrancis first gave Leonardo a chateau near Amboise, in the place of Cloux, where he was free to carry on his experiments. In the year of 1518, he designed the stage sets for the wedding of Lorenzo de Medici and a niece of the FrenchKing then he takes part in celebrations for the Dauphins baptism.

While in France, Leonardo became paralyzed. He had to stop painting, but his mind remained active. During his last years, he received countless visitors, who listened with awe to the master’s brilliant ideas about art and science. In the year of 1529, Charles V was elected Holy Roman Emperor. A sick man Leonardomakes his will on April twenty-third, naming his pupil, his painter friend Francesco Meli as executor. Renaissance men set impossibly high goals for themselves. Leonardo Da Vinci, the man who came closest to reaching all of those goals, died in his French chateau on May second, 1519.

Perhaps no one in history achieved so much in so many different fields as Leonardo Da Vinci. An outstanding painter, sculptor, and architect, he also designed the diving bell and tank, and though they could not be built with the materials of the time – flying machines like the helicopter. He made important discoveries about the structure of the human body.

I admire Leonardo in many ways and I am glad I chose him as my research project I have learned many things.


  1. Bramly, Serge. Discovering the life of Leonardo Da Vinci. New York, New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 19912.
  2. Stanley, Diane. Leonardo Da Vinci. New York, New York: William Morrow and Company Inc., 19963.
  3. Bacci, Mina. Leonardo. Milan, ItalyFabbri Editori, 19784.
  4. Wasserman, Jack. Leonardo Da Vinci. New York, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 19845.
  5. Fleming, William. Arts; Ideas. Third Edition, pgs245-246, 260-262,287, 157-258. New York, New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston Inc.19936.
  6. Hartt, Frederick. Art. Fourth Edition, pgs 618, 688-670, 714, 749, 903, 918New York, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 19937. Honour, Hugh.
  7. Fleming, John., The Visual Arts: A History Third edition, pgs 402, 404, 413-419, 441New York, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 19828.

Federal Funding For California Schools

We Need More Money For California SchoolsIn this country today, California schools are teaching over 45percent of all immigrant students. Since the 1970’s, immigrants from Mexico and Cuba have been steadily moving to California – legally andillegally – because of the abundance of low paying farmworker jobs available in our agricultural industry. In 1986 the Immigration Reform andControl Act (IRCA) made it possible for long-term illegal immigrants toregulize their status (61). Thus these workers began bringing theirfamilies to California soon after the Act was signed. Because of this,California’s LEP (limited English proficient) student population grew by 40percent from 1990 – 1995.Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)seemed to be the hardest hit by this influx of LEP students partly because metropolitan areas like L.A. are usually where large low-income housing developments are located.

These areas are where most immigrants end upbecause it is all that they can afford when first arriving in America. With this population growth came the overwhelming financial burden ofteaching these LEP students English. Because 42 percent of California’simmigrant students are going to schools in LAUSD, I think that more federal money should be allocated there as well to help them attain more bilingual teachers, to assist with overcrowding and to aid other correlated services commonly needed for new immigrants. One advantage more federal funding would bring to Los Angeles schoolsis the ability to hire more bilingual teachers. “As of 1995, Californiahad fewer than 11,000 fully certified bilingual teachers,” says Wayne A.

Cornelius, director of Studies and Programs at the Center forDarling 2U.S. – Mexican Studies. “That is approximately one for every 112 LEPstudents.” During the last 10 years, the number of bilingual teachershired by the state only increased by 30 percent while the population of LEPstudents grew by 150 percent. This has resulted in a huge mismatchbetween students and teachers. As one L.A. district high school teacherput it, “We now have a majority or near-majority student body in which theprimary language is Spanish. The teaching staff, in L.A. at least, isaging and is primarily non-Spanish speaking. So the demographics are allwrong.” This problem cannot be alleviated without more federalfunding for new teachers.

Besides needing more bilingual teachers in LAUSD, there is also anurgency to build more schools to house this growth of LEP students. In1995 there were over 860,000 LEP students in California alone with over250,000 who had been in the U.S. for less than three years. With thishuge influx, it seems almost impossible for the state to keep up with theneed for new schools, especially without financial help from the federal government. Unfortunately, the federal government has chosen to treat thefunding of immigrant education as a state and local responsibility. “In 1992,” said Cornelius, “Congress even chose to withhold $812 million inpreviously approved federal funding to help heavily impacted states andlocalities pay for immigrants . “. Without the new schools thatare so desperately needed, most likely, a good portion of immigrantstudents will become frustrated and drop out of overcrowded schools, thusincreasing the criminal, welfare and unemployment rates.

In addition to needing federal funding to build new schools, thereare also extra expenses incurred for other immigrant services that schools supply. Not only is money needed for bilingual education in general, but there are also programs such as, ESL (English as a second language), remedial education services, and psychological counseling as well as theadded burden to lunch and after school programs for disadvantaged families. “The immigrant studentDarling 3population is increasing at a time when school budgets are not,” says Cornelius. Without these programs, there will be an increase of pooracademic performances by LEP students, which will lead to higher drop outrates and a lifetime of limited earning opportunities for these students.

Federal funding, in my opinion, is absolutely necessary,especially for overflowing schools in LAUSD, so that they are able to hiremore bilingual teachers, build much needed schools and pay for additionalimmigrant programs. Without this financial assistance, there will likelybe a significant failure at helping these young immigrants to become aviable part of American society. Instead they will become a drain on otherresources such as Welfare, Unemployment and the Criminal JusticeDepartment. As a California taxpayer, I realize that it is difficult tosupport Bonds on election ballots for money to aid inner-city schools, butif more money is not allocated for schools now, taxpayers will be saddledwith higher taxes later on to pay for those other programs. It can only bean advantage to invest in the future of California’s immigrant youth bygaining federal funds to support these badly needed bilingual programs nowand not wait to clean up a larger mess later.

Work Cited

  1. Cornelius, Wayne A. “Educating California’s Immigrant Children”. (p.60-76).
  2. The Failure of Bilingual Education. Amselle, Jorge, Ed.
  3. Center for Equal Opportunity. Washington, DC. 1995. 18 Oct 2002. .

Huckleberry Finn Review

Throughout all of his adventures, Jim shows compassion as his most important trait. He makes the reader aware of his many superstitions and Jim exhibits gullibility in the sense that he, Jim, always assumes the other characters in the book will not take advantage of him. One incident proving that Jim acts naive occurs halfway through the novel, when the Duke first comes into the scene, “By right I am a duke! Jim’s eyes bugged out when he heard that…” In the novel, Huck Finn, one can truthfully prove that compassion, superstitious and gullibility illustrate Jim’s character perfectly. To begin with, among the many characteristics of Jim, his compassionate nature shows throughout the book. When Huck and Jim come across the floating boathouse, Jim finds a dead man inside. He advises Huck not to look as he says, “It’s a dead man… dead two er three days… come in Huck, but doan’ look at his face.” At the end of the book the reader finds out that the dead man turns out as Huck’s father. Further on down the river, Huck and Jim engage in a deep conversation. Jim speaks of the family he feels he has left behind. Jim tries hard to save up all his money in hopes of buying back his wife and children when he becomes a free man. He expresses that he feels terrible for leaving behind his family and misses them very much. As a result, Huck feels responsible and guilty for ruining Jim’s freedom. Huck decides that he wants to reveal the truth, that Jim really isn’t a free man. His conscience tells him not to, and instead he finds himself helping Jim rather than giving him up. Jim feels so thankful to Huck when he says “. . .it’s all on account of Huck, I’s a free man, … you’s the best friend Jim’s ever had…” Even further along, Huck becomes separated from Jim and living at the Grangerford’s. Huck doesn’t know if he’ll ever see Jim again. He also doesn’t realize Jim has found a hiding spot not very far away. He asks one of the Grangferford’s slaves about Huck’s condition and how well the lifestyle of the Grangerfords suites him. A slave reunites Jim and Huck and Huck proceeds to ask, “Why didn’t you tell my Jack to fetch me here sooner, Jim?” Jim replies, “Well, twarn’t no use to sturb you, Huck…” He would rather let Huck have his fun while he can. Throughout the book Jim acts as the most caring character, especially towards Huck. Luckily, the two men, devote everything they can to surviving this adventure and it shows that they care for one-another very much.

Not only does the novel show Jim as compassionate but, it also portrays him as superstitious. For instance, he believes the reasoning behind the bad luck relates to Huck touching a snakeskin. “You said it was the worst bad luck in the world to touch a snakeskin with my hands.” Equally important Jim believes hairy arms and chests lead to wealth. “Ef you’s got hairy arms en a hairy breas’, it’s a sign dat you’s a gwyne to be rich.” Furthermore, the sight of birds flying overhead produces rain. “Some young birds come along, flying a yard or two at a time and lightning. Jim said it was a sign it was going to rain.” Another situation where Jim shows superstition includes, “And Jim said you musn’t count the things you have for dinner because that would bring you bad luck. The same if you shook the tablecloth after sundown.” These superstitions prove just how crazy Jim acts.

In addition to Jim’s superstitious nature, throughout the novel he also demonstrates gullibility. A good example of this naivete begins when Huck appears to Jim in a supernatural form. “Doan’ hurt me-don’t I hain’t ever done no harm to a ghos’.” Late one night the fog separates Huck and Jim on the river causing him great confusion. “Well, den, I reck’n I did dream it, Huck; but dogs my cats ef it ain’t de powerfulest dream I ever see.” Another event showing his gullibility takes place when the King and Duke enter into the story line, leading Jim on about their identities. “All through dinner Jim stood around and waited on him, and says, Will yo’ Grace have some o’ dis or some o’ dat?” In the last example of the book, Jim follows Huck and Tom’s elaborate escape plan despite his uncertainty. “Blest if I kin see de pint. But I’ll do it ef I got to.” Because of Jim’s ingenuousness nature Huck, King and the Duke sometimes take advantage of him.

While it may be true that Jim displays more characteristics than the ones listed, I believe these certainly standout in your mind after reading the novel. No matter how Huck treats Jim, he remains willing to support Huck through anything. Even in the beginning of the novel when Tom tries to persuade Huck to pick on Jim, … “Tom whispered to me and wanted to tie Jim to the tree for fun…” but fortunately, Huck uses his best judgement because he knows that he must not play a trick on Jim. While Jim goes a little overboard with his wild superstitions he nevertheless creates humorous scenarios showing himself innocently picked on for his gullibility.

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