Hop into a time machine and travel back to Renaissance Italy to the booming town of Florence, and there resides a man in a humble abode with nothing more than a candle light and a rampant imagination! Our latest trip to Union Station took us into the creative and imaginative mind of the true renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci! We learned about all of the creative processes that he used to design his compositions for his paintings and sculptures. He studied mathematical relationships that existed in nature to derive a conclusion on balance, harmony, symmetry, and how they are created in the natural world. Thus, lead to his study of the “Vitruvian Man,” which was the ideal proportions of the human body and how they related to one another. We learned that many of da Vinci’s mechanical drawings/blue prints were created for the Italian Army to fund his rather lavish taste for his art materials, only the finest for da Vinci! No one really knows if his machines were ever created within his lifetime, but engineers have studied his mechanical drawings and have replicated actual functioning machines from his designs, so it gives better plausibility of his machines as actually functioning.
We also learned from this very interesting exhibit that 1/3 to 1/2 of his work was never actually seen by anyone but himself. Da Vinci reportedly destroyed a lot of his work that he felt didn’t uphold to his own personal standards, so there is more beyond the man than anyone will ever know. That definitely adds to his mysterious nature and intriguing genius. Some of the more interesting facts about da Vinci was that he held odd jobs as a cook at a Florence restaurant called “The Three Snails,” he was also appointed the position “Master of Feasts & Banquets” (which included that he was the wedding planner for the Duke of Milan), and for a short period in his life he acted as a theatre manager and helped to stage many productions as well as lending his gift for mechanical inventions he created theatre props. We learned a lot about this man of many talents at our trip to Union Station. The residents left amazed and inspired by the accomplishments of da Vinci’s talents. This is a wonderful interactive exhibit for the family to attend if you haven’t already. The residents agreed that the best part was being able to play with the mechanical creations. This exhibit is sure to spark your imagination and inspire you to create! Happy museum travels!