Talk:Leonardo da Vinci

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Leonardo da Vinci is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Leonardo da Vinci has been listed as one of the Art and architecture good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 10, 2004.
On this day...Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive Article milestones
January 19, 2004Refreshing brilliant proseKept
January 6, 2005Featured article reviewDemoted
April 12, 2005Peer reviewReviewed
July 8, 2006Good article nomineeListed
March 6, 2007Peer reviewReviewed
October 8, 2007Featured article candidateNot promoted
May 9, 2008Good article reassessmentKept
August 14, 2008Peer reviewReviewed
On this day... Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on April 15, 2017, and May 2, 2019.
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Current status: Former featured article, current good article

Incoming editsEdit

I plan to add several details from the Wallace 1966 source, which is still very relevant for the most part. It mostly helps fill in some details on some areas that are currently fuzzy in the article. I just wanted to give a heads up and create a place of discussion, as it's possible that some new info has come out to correct some of the points. Please state your reasoning if you have some objection, etc. UpdateNerd (talk) 05:09, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

a great person in overall — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:16A2:5541:5446:2C83:EA90:7507:84D (talk) 16:13, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Paragraph with Grammatical and Stylistic ErrorsEdit

Hi! I'm new to this but here goes.
In my opinion, the final paragraph of 5.3 Engineering and inventions should be amended due to its informal style and grammatical mistakes, perhaps due to its translation from another language or a lack of familiarity with English on behalf of the author.

  • Casual style: eg. "Broek has done the research on more than..."
  • Grammatical errors: "...a large portion of Leonardos inventions has been make before his lifetime."
Note the incorrect use of present tense "has" and "make", as well as the lack of an apostrophe to denote possession in "Leonardos".
  • Also, requiring rephrasing: "The genius and innovative part of Leonardo´s drawings is"
Note the possessive apostrophe is, in fact, an acute accent (´) not the required (').

In all, each sentence requires some word substitution and restructuring.
Otherwise, a very good read. Thank you!
--J8j6 (talk) 12:59, 3 January 2020 (UTC)

Using a page by "Vinnie" as a source is not a good ideaEdit

I'm referring to RickyBennison's edit " However, contrarily to these statements made in regard to the Sun's movement, in one of his notebooks there is a note in the margin which states 'the Sun does not move.'[1] The note is not supported by the other text on the page and its significance is unclear." Whoever this Vinnie is, they say at the bottom "My name is Vinnie J. and I am from Wisconsin. I did Leonardo Da Vinci because he did a lot for Science, and his last name is ALMOST close to" (it ends there, but the reason is obvious. Weebly should never be used, and the last sentence is original research. The word "however" as used fails WP:EDITORIAL.Doug Weller talk 16:20, 3 March 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Leonardo Da Vinci". Giants of Science. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
I deleted the section on Leonardo's astronomy because it was too detailed for this article.
A major ongoing problem with this article is that every editor on Wkipedia knows something about Leonardo da Vinci, and they all consider that item of knowledge to be important.
In the past decade, several new Leonardo articles have been started including Science and inventions of Leonardo da Vinci and Personal life of Leonardo da Vinci as well as articles on specific paintings and inventions.
The aim is to keep this article to a manageable size, that a student can read in one sitting, and find links to more detailed info if necessary.
I transferred the information about the astronomy to the article about Lonardo's science and incorporated it into an existent paragraph. I didn't check the reference.
I similarly deleted most of the information recently included about the painting Lady with an ermine because the information which was precise to that painting did not have general reference to Leonardo as a painter, which is what is important here.
Basically, if someone wants to know whether Leonardo really painted Bella Principessa, whether he was a Cathar, whether he invented the bicycle, whether his fingerprints prove he was Arabic, whether he was the lover of Salai, whether he was the head of the Priory of Sion, or if he included musical notation in the Last Supper and the initials LdV in the Mona Lisa's eyeballs..... then this article is not the best place to find that information.
But it is certain to be there, somewhere in the pages of Wikipedia.
Amandajm (talk) 19:15, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
The quote 'the Sun does not move.' is relatively common in sources on Da Vinci and citing a stronger source for it should not be a problem. It is strange that the quote is used as often as it is as, on balance, Leonardo clearly thought that the Sun did move.
I think the sub-section is important because it is so useful in understanding Leonardo's astronomical understanding, which fundamentally contributed to his world view and psychology. And it shows how he stood on a major area of contemporary study. In terms of a student easily gaining an understanding of Leonardo and his relationship to the world in which he lived, this information is significant. I do not think the section can be called an over-specific addition like perhaps a section devoted to an individual painting may be. The section is concise enough to escape the charge of being too detailed or lengthy. I think an issue some other editors may have is that the section does not look as 'plump' as the others. But I do not see that as a problem because Wikipedia is meant to be grown over time. Other editors could add to the section (perhaps in regard to Earth shine, optics etc.) to make it a fuller section if they wanted. The information within the section (Leonardo's geocentric perspective and his statements made in regard to the movement of the Sun) is clearly significant, arguably fundamental, in terms of understanding Leonardo and his life, and can be included concisely.RickyBennison (talk) 21:01, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
@RickyBennison: none of that explains why you would use a source by someone called Vinnie. Doug Weller talk 11:14, 4 March 2020 (UTC)
If the article is going to deal in a thorough way with Leonardo as a man of his times, then it needs a section on that topic, not a section on his beliefs about astronomy in particular.
This is a genaral article.
Leonardo's main claim to fame, boh within his lifetime, and now is as a painter. As a painter, he transformed the way in whih other artists saw the world. Caravaggio was dependent on Leonard. Rembrandt, Delacroix, Manet, Dali, Francis Bacon etc etc.
These people, in turn, transformed our way of seing. Without Mona Lisa, the Girl with a pearl earring would not exist. The Maids of Honour and The Night Watch would never have been painted.
Lord Kelvin, Thomas Edison, James Watt, and even the Wright Brothers, on the other hand, were not dependent upon Leonardo da Vinci.
THis is the reason why summaries are inluded of some of Leonardo's greatest works.
But to people reared on TV, ipads, and You Tube, it can be difficult to convey just how important paintings have been in the history of the World. And how they have effected the way that people see.
Vasari describes tha fact that when Leonardo was working on a particula large drawing (probably he one now in the National Gallery, London), people came crowding to see it, every day, as if they were attending a festival.
His sketch books are also summarised, but his attitudes to every different side of science is not needed in this article.
Nothing about Leornardo's attitude to the state of the solar system left a lasting impression on humanity.
Amandajm (talk) 17:43, 4 March 2020 (UTC)

Leonardo's father's nameEdit

It is written that Leonardo's father's name was "Piero da Vinci", however 'da Vinci' was a given name only known after Leonardo's birth (coined because of the name of his birthplace). His real name is known only to be Ser Piero. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:02, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

The book by Walter Isaacson cites "Piero da Vinci" . Erick Soares3 (talk) 18:57, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
Piero was a very common name. When the father took his business to Florence, he would almost certainly have used "da Vinci" to distinguish himself.
The crucial matter is that Leonardo was not known as "da Vinci" as in The Da Vinci Code. He was known as Leonardo in the same way that Michelangelo and Raphaello were known by a single personal name.
Botticelli was merely a nickname. The people who are known by two names are those who had brothers who were similarly employed, e.g. the Ghirlandaios and the Pollaiuolos.
Amandajm (talk) 20:21, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

Santa BabilaEdit

Please change Santa Babila in San Babila, which is the correct name of the parish still existing in Milan. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Caligola00 (talkcontribs) 15:50, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 30 April 2020Edit

Hello, I would like to edit the sentence in this article containing the words: "The Mona Lisa is the most famous of his works and the most popular portrait ever made". I believe this is a subjective claim and I am not sure if the whole of society would agree that the Mona Lisa is the most popular portrait ever made. I do not believe an encyclopedia that is supposed to contain objective and educational facts should contain a sentence or claim such as this.

My proposed changes would make the sentence say: "The Mona Lisa is one of the most famous of his works and an extremely well-known portrait around the world." Zachjames123 (talk) 21:18, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

  Not done. The statement is sourced, so you'll need to find something wrong with the source or a better one. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 22:33, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

My recent revertEdit

@Pictorex:, it really doesn't matter if you think Baptista de Vilanis didn't exist, I've sourced it and if you wish to complain about the source go to WP:RSN -- also for Walter Isaacson whom you don't seem to like. I have no idea why you think a self-published book is a better source. Your original research doesn't belong in an article. I'm sure the article can be improved, but you didn't do that except by proxy, as I've added an academic source. Doug Weller talk

It's time to fix the opening paragraphEdit

I've been working on various Leonardo works (Portrait of a Musician and La Scapigliata so far, with beginning work on his list of works, Lady with an Ermine and Codex Atlanticus) and I had planned to eventually work on this article to get it up to peer review standard. I was originally going to work on more paintings before turning to this article, but every time I come here I see huge issues in every section and after talking to other users I realized it might be best to slowly work on this article alongside other works. By far biggest issue is the opening paragraph. Let's take it piece by piece: (Please respond to each issue separately)

1st half of the 1st sentence:Edit


  • The pronunciations clog up the first sentence and make it unnecessarily overwhelming

I propose we change it to something like the following:

Leonardo da Vinci (English: /ˌləˈnɑːrd də ˈvɪni, ˌlˈ-, ˌlˈ-/[a] 14/15 April 1452[b] – 2 May 1519), was...

And move the full name to:

"Born Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (Italian: [leoˈnardo di ˌsɛr ˈpjɛːro da (v)ˈvintʃi] ( listen)) out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina...


  • I suppose an Italian pronunciation of "Leonardo da Vinci" would make sense in addition?
  • What are the English: /lˈ-, ˌlˈ-/? Are they alternate version of pronouncing "Leonardo"? I'm not super familiar with IPA


I think the multiple names are simply superfluous. I don't think this straightforward shortening needs mentioning at all, any more than we would feel the need to say Donald John Trump, known as Donald Trump, or Donald Trump, born Donald John Trump. See MOS:LEGALNAME - "It is not always necessary to spell out why the article title and lead paragraph give a different name."

I don't think the ways the name is pronounced in English are really needed either, especially as the answer seems to be "pretty much in every possible way you could imagine". I think this should just be:

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (Italian: [leoˈnardo di ˌsɛr ˈpjɛːro da (v)ˈvintʃi] ( listen); 14/15 April 1452[b] – 2 May 1519) was ....

Also, are all the notes and references really necessary? I'd think generally that is stuff that should be covered in the article text. TSP (talk) 02:16, 24 July 2020 (UTC)

@TSP: Your solution would ideal for me as well. The reason I suggested differently is because the current format had been there for so long I assumed that there would be push back to something like your suggestion so I proposed a middle ground between your solution and the current format (but perhaps that was unnecessary on my part!). I wonder if @Nardog: can provide some more insight on this (especially the IPA in particular). Aza24 (talk) 02:45, 24 July 2020 (UTC)

2nd half of the 1st sentence:Edit

Describing him as "an Italian polymath of the Renaissance whose areas of interest included science and invention, drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, paleontology, and cartography."

Frankly, this is messy and really makes it unclear about who he is. Yes had a lot of interests, but lumping painting, invention and architecture with music, botany and geology makes them seem of equal importance and notability to him, when they are obviously not.

Here's how other sources describe him:

  • Grove (Martin Kemp): "Italian painter, sculptor, architect, designer, theorist, engineer and scientist"
  • Britannica: "Italian painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, and engineer"
  • "painter, architect, inventor, and student of all things scientific"
  • BBC: "hugely influential as an artist and sculptor but also immensely talented as an engineer, scientist and inventor."
  • "Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, military engineer and draftsman"

Here's an example from Zhang Heng's (a Chinese polymath) featured article: "was a Chinese polymathic scientist and statesman from Nanyang who lived during the Han dynasty. Educated in the capital cities of Luoyang and Chang'an, he achieved success as an astronomer, mathematician, seismologist, hydraulic engineer, inventor, geographer, cartographer, ethnographer, artist, poet, philosopher, politician, and literary scholar."

I think a combination of the sources above and the general format from Zheng Heng's article is the most appropriate way of describing Leonardo. Perhaps something like this:

"was an Italian painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, engineer and polymathic scientist of the Renaissance. His notebooks, which cover his entire career, contain writings on music, mathematics, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, paleontology, and cartography."


  • Should the first line include "draftsman" or "theorist"?
  • Not sure about the wording of the second sentence here


I think by the time you've listed six occupations, and list another nine in the next sentence, 'polymath' is superflous; and I think 'polymathic' is needlessly obscure; it's fine without it. Otherwise looks good to me. TSP (talk) 02:16, 24 July 2020 (UTC)

1st half of the 2nd sentenceEdit

"He has been variously called the father of palaeontology, ichnology, and architecture," What??

  • Palaeontology
    • no ref provided
    • Not as notable as Georges Cuvier
    • The Palaeontology article says this "Leonardo's contributions are central to the history of paleontology", it does not try to make a claim that he is the "father of palaeontology".
    • the only time palaeontology is mentioned in the article is in that he was "influential on early palaeontology"
  • Ichnology
    • A single journal calls him the "founding father of Ichnology"
    • Not mentioned once in the Ichnology article
    • None of the sources I had listed above mention this (although not all of them are equally reliable) and neither do my many Leonardo books (and I have a lot of books!)

Delete the entire line of "He has been variously called the father of palaeontology, ichnology, and architecture,"

I understand that the article doesn't say "he is the father..." or "is considered the father..." but the phrasing "variously called" is such an unclear term that it simply implies that "he is the father..." or "is considered the father...".

2nd half of the 2nd sentenceEdit

Issue This part makes sense to me but the "despite perhaps only 15 of his paintings having survived" but the number 15 is unsourced and simply untrue. There is so much contention between scholars the his "number of paintings" (or in this case really "number of major works"; see his Major extant works) is really in fluctuation between 10–24. I have seen the number "15" thrown around a lot by news articles, but never by academic sources.

Proposal Changing the line to "(despite no more than 24 of his paintings having survived)" Changed, for the time being

Initial draftEdit

Below is a rough draft of what the opening sentence may look like with these implementations:

Leonardo da Vinci (English: /ˌləˈnɑːrd də ˈvɪni, ˌlˈ-, ˌlˈ-/[c] 14/15 April 1452[b] – 2 May 1519), was an Italian painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, engineer and polymathic scientist of the Renaissance. His notebooks, which cover his entire career, contain writings on music, mathematics, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, paleontology, and cartography. He is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time (despite less than 25 of his paintings having survived).[d]

"Born Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (Italian: [leoˈnardo di ˌsɛr ˈpjɛːro da (v)ˈvintʃi] ( listen)) out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina...

Obviously the opening paragraph may eventually have some expansion but at the moment, the initial formatting and issues of the current opening paragraph need to be addressed. Aza24 (talk) 20:55, 23 July 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ Wells, John (3 April 2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Pearson Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0.
  2. ^ Angela Ottino della Chiesa in Leonardo da Vinci, and Reynal & Co., Leonardo da Vinci (William Morrow and Company, 1956)
  3. ^ a b Vezzosi 1997, p. 83.
  4. ^ Wells, John (3 April 2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Pearson Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0.
  5. ^ Angela Ottino della Chiesa in Leonardo da Vinci, and Reynal & Co., Leonardo da Vinci (William Morrow and Company, 1956)


  1. ^ LEE-ə-NAR-doh də VIN-chee, LEE-oh-, LAY-oh-;[1]
  2. ^ a b c His birth is recorded in the diary of his paternal grandfather Ser Antonio:[2] "A grandson of mine was born April 15, Saturday, three hours into the night". As it was Florentine time and sunset was 6:40 pm, three hours after sunset would be sometime around 9:40 pm, which was still 14 April by modern reckoning.[3] Cite error: The named reference "birth" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ LEE-ə-NAR-doh də VIN-chee, LEE-oh-, LAY-oh-;[4]
  4. ^ There are 24 significant artworks which are ascribed to Leonardo by most art historians, either in whole or in large part. This number is made up principally of paintings on panel but includes two murals, two large drawings on paper, and two works which are in the early stages of preparation. There are a number of other works that have also been variously attributed to him.


The caption for the landscape picture says “probably the first true landscape painting in history”. I think this needs a citation, to verify that it is the case, if it is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jukhamil (talkcontribs) 11:11, 4 August 2020 (UTC)

I added a citation (other than the one in the nearby prose paragraph) for verification. UpdateNerd (talk) 07:01, 5 August 2020 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 9 August 2020Edit

The spelling of paleontology in this article is wrong. (talk) 12:50, 9 August 2020 (UTC)

Have standardized it to palaeontology since this article is written in British English and previously used the British variant before the American variant was inserted. – Thjarkur (talk) 13:50, 9 August 2020 (UTC)
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