5 Facts about Leonardo da Vinci that nobody taught you in school


Everyone knows who is Leonardo da Vinci. He is truly one of the greatest artists of all time and his innovative thinking amazes and intrigues people to this day. Yet, even though we may know the basic facts about the incomparable artist, there are so many interesting aspects about his life that nobody really taught us in school. Even an art school. Today, let’s sit back and take a ride to the world of Leonardo and find out some unexpected details about him that will enhance our understanding of the kind of life the uniquely talented artist led.

1. Da Vinci was ambidextrous


Leonardo had a unique ability to write with one hand and draw with another at the very same time. Sounds impossible? Well, not to him.

He also hid secret messages in his works, by writing something backwards that could only be decoded if read through a mirror. Sounds like a spy movie scenario? No, just the innovative thinking of a truly creative mind.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci 


2. Leonardo did not receive any formal education


We’re used to the idea that if you want to be great at something, you have to get the best education possible and choose a school that’s at the top of its game. It definitely wasn’t the case for Leonardo. When he was young, he was homeschooled and trained as a musician, a lyre player. When painting came into the picture, he trained under the painter from Florence – Andrea del Verrocchio and spent a lot of time observing nature that became a very important part of his works.


Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci


3. Leonardo DaVinci was almost executed


When he was 24 years old, Leonardo was arrested with a few of his male companions and accused of sodomy which was a crime, punishable by death in Florence in the 15th century. Yet, his case was dismissed for no witnesses came forward in court. Yet, it sounds absolutely insane when you think that everyone would’ve lost such an amazing artist because of an inadequate law. Also, even though Leonardo was acquitted, he did disappear for two years after the event. He reemerged to take a commission at a Florentine chapel in 1478.


Madonna of the Yarn winder by Leonardo da Vinci


4. His biggest project was destroyed


Leonardo’s biggest project that is sometimes called “Leonardo’s horse”, was commissioned by the duke of Milan. He was asked to create a 20-foot-plus statue of the Duke’s father on a horse (even though the human elements soon disappeared). Leonardo worked on the project for almost 17 years. Yet, before the project could be completed, the French invaded Milan and shot the clay sculpture. It shattered into pieces and the project was over.


Madonna Litta by Leonardo da Vinci 


5. Madonna Litta by Leonardo da Vinci


Centuries before the animal rights movements came to be, Leonardo already tried to make animals’ lives better. He wrote about his love and respect for the animals and often questioned human superiority over them. He did not eat meat and bought caged birds just to set them free. He wrote: The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”


Drawings of cats by Leonardo da Vinci