What are some inventions and works by Leonardo Da Vinci that impacted humankind and society?
When we use the term "Renaissance Man" today, we still first think of Leonardo da Vinci as the epitome of the moniker, though he lived over 500 years ago.
Da Vinci created new techniques in painting, particularly sfumato, the smoky quality present in many of his works which depicted a receding background. However, he also envisioned many ideas in science and technology long before the tools and scientific theories were available to bring his visions to fruition.
In his sketchbooks, there are plans for the following inventions: the helicopter, the parachute, the armored car, the giant crossbow, the triple-barrel cannon, a more accurate clock, a self-propelled cart (the first robot), early scuba gear, and a revolving bridge designed to help armies escape from and foil the forces pursuing them.
Da Vinci is not credited with inventing many of these things. He is credited, instead, with thinking of them first. For example, the first helicopter did not take flight until 1939.
We are mainly impacted by da Vinci's ideas about classical beauty. His drawing Vitruvian Man depicts the ideal proportions of the male body. We are also inspired by the voracity of his interests and the wide breadth of his ideas.