Leonardo da Vinci made important contributions from his conviction that art and science should work together, not be placed in separate compartments. To his mind, science could teach creative people how to produce better art, and artistic creativity could enhance scientific study. Therefore, he did not study just one or...
the other of these fields alone, but both. For example, he studied human physiology both as a scientific endeavor and to improve his drawing and painting. Not only did his studies, which included dissections, improve his art, after he died, the detailed drawings he made advanced scientific knowledge of the human body.
Da Vinci's far-reaching scientific studies had an impact on the art world through his painting. He experimented with perspective and mastered the art of the "vanishing point," a technique which gave his paintings a tremendous sense of depth or three-dimensionality. Many future artists studied and used his techniques.
Da Vinci thought that seeing was all important, making him an early empiricist. He put a primacy not on received tradition, but on observing with his own eyes. He made maps and studied geology. He made early attempts at conceptualizing technologies that centuries later became realities, such as helicopters and tanks.
Da Vinci was a true "Renaissance man," meaning a person whose interests were extremely wide roving. He was interested in almost everything and never limited his scope. This might be a philosophy more needed in today's world, where the rewards tend to go to the specialist, not the person who makes links between far-flung fields of study.