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Leonardo Da Vinci as an Architect

Leonard Da Vinci was born in who lived between April 15, 1452 and May 2, 1519 has been viewed as one of the greatest contributors of various fields today. Though described as a person who was of many professions, he has outstanding work art, which are used repeatedly in religion, medicine architecture among others. As described by Muir and Ruggiero, (1991), Leonardo Da Vinci was an Italian thinker who has remained to be one of the greatest thinkers of they age of renaissance. He has been described as an architect, a scientist, a musician, a mathematician, a sculpture, an artist among many other descriptions that depicts that the man was a real genius.

He has been described as the inventor of geniuses and a leading light to most fascinating knowledge of the modern world as he ensured his ancient studies are still being used today. His art work of the last supper remains the most reproduced religious material today while his image of the Vitruvius man has remained of great importance in medicine and has been reproduced in textbooks, exercise books online materials and many other modern methods of communication. This is an indication that indeed Leonardo Da Vinci was the archetype of the age of renaissance.

One of the most notable works by Leonard Da Vinci was his study about water. He was generally fascinated by water its usefulness and its power to destroy. He saw the concept of water as a full paradox that was dominated by various issues, some beneficial while some destructive. He thus devoted his time to the study the forces of water which he likened to the role of blood in human body. To Leonardo, the importance of water to the world is like the role of blood to the human body, an indication that water therefore must be an important element of human life despite its destructive power that can come with the water. Water therefore was likened to the force of life which therefore indicated that despite the destructive potential that water holds, there was a need to develop various ways to control it.

Due to his belief that water was a necessity and possessed an inherent destructive power, he devoted his work to examine how water can be controlled. In his guest to come up with ways that can control water, Leonardo designed numerous implements all aimed at controlling water. It is his quest to control water since he found it necessary to avoid destruction that the architectural Da Vinci is seen, at least when contrasted with the Vitruvius's standards of an architect. According to the Vitruvius's standards, an architect should know the law that entails things necessary for construction. Vitruvius's standards advocate for an architect who understands water, where it supplies should be brought from, issues of drains as well as gutters.

In his analysis, Leonardo Da Vinci came up with a special machine that was to be used for the purpose of raising water. With his machine therefore, it is clear that Leonardo Da Vinci could easily manage to know where water supply could be brought from to where people lived. This is his first sign of an architect. As asserted by Vitruvius, in his analysis of an architect, one must know the source of water, which Da Vinci with his machine therefore could raise from different sources to where people lived. The machine devised by Leonardo can today be equated to the water pumps that have remained of great importance to modern architects as they pump water sometimes from hundred of kilometers to where people live. Leonardo therefore is by Vitruvius's standards, an architect who mastered architecture by understanding the source of water for human habitation.

Another aspect that makes Leonardo an architect by Vitruvius's standards is his quest to establish how water can be controlled. Having studied the behavior of water in motion, Leonardo was well informed on the possible destructive nature of water and thus was aware of the importance to control water. Vitruvius's standards advocate for an architect who understands how water can be controlled. To this effects, Vitruvius assert that an architect should understand the courses of rain gutters as well as drains which are of great importance for a healthy habitation.  Having studied various aspects of water, Leonardo had also ensured that he had studied the importance of controlling water which can be likened with what Vitruvius's standards advocates for especially as far as water for dwelling places is concerned. Leonardo’s understanding of water can be seen from his image of water passing obstacles which is shown below. With the image, one can understand the conceptualization of Da Vinci’s need to control the water, which therefore makes him an architect with a sense of importance of drainage as that would be the only way to control the harmful effects of water.

From the image above, one can see that Leonardo had an understanding of the nature of water and the importance of having its path undestroyed. Leonardo Da Vinci conceptualized the erosion effects of water. He is credited to be the first man to notice how water erodes mountains and deposits the substance on the valleys. This is an indication that Leonardo therefore would not advocate for a construction that would jeopardize the courses of nature such as constructions in a valley where water runs from the mountains. His understanding of how this could affect the houses and the inhabitants therefore could makes him a good architect, since one of the fundamental issue with architecture today is the concept of drainage.  

Vitruvius's standards of an architecture also views a good architect as a person who’s knowledge is not only limited to architecture. According to Vitruvius's standards, an architect should possess some knowledge in medicine, law, art, music among other areas of knowledge. Vitruvius's standards therefore advocates for an all rounded architect who understands various issues of human phenomenon as the all affect the architect’s final product. For instance, Vitruvius's standards advocates for an architect who has some knowledge of theatres, which allows the architect to set the theatres with respect to various pitches that later translates to a onstage sound that respects all the various voices that have been spoken in such a theatre. The architect’s understanding of theatre issues therefore makes it possible for a full outcome of the intended view of the theater.

Vitruvius's standards also call for an architect who understands some aspects of medicine. This is further explained in relation to the effects of the environment to the health of persons. This knowledge, according to Vitruvius's standards is of great importance as it would ensure that an architect places human habitation in areas that the environment shall ensure that the entire process would lead to improved health of the dwellers. An architect should have an understanding of medicine and the climates. This indicates that a good architect must have the knowledge of how various diseases are associated with the climate or aspects that deals with the health of individuals with where they live. This, according to Vitruvius's standards is great importance as it would ensure that the living areas are healthful and thus habitable.

Leonardo Da Vinci meets the above two major issues that have been identified by the Vitruvius's standards.  As far as theaters are concerned, Da Vinci who is seen as the Archetype of the renaissance age has been described as a person with knowledge of various issues of the theatre, including his knowledge in art. He therefore meets the definition of the Vitruvius's standards of a good architect. As far as knowledge of medicine is concerned, Leonardo Da Vinci be said to be a good architect. To begin with, Da Vinci’s knowledge of medicine is of great relevance even to the modern medicine especially due to his work on the Vitruvian man which has been credited as one important work that explained the relationship of various human body organs size wise with the total human body size. 

The Vitruvian man image is an indication that Leonardo conceptualized effectively the concept of proportionality, which is an important aspect of architecture. The images shown below shows that Leonardo’s ability to conceptualize proportionality was of high standards. According to Carlo, (1962), an architect must have a good view of proportionality. He or she must be able to match various in the final product. This is the only way that would ensure that the final product of the architect meets all the desired standard of a good house. Although the figure depicts a special conceptualization of proportionality in the medical field, one cannot fail to see that if Leonardo employed the same knowledge in the architecture then he would make a good architect.

The ability of this archetype of the renaissance period to see the proportionality of structures therefore is an important element that should be possessed by all architects for their final products to meet the intended purposes. Without this knowledge of proportionality such an architect cannot manage to have a product that meets all the human needs. The Vitruvian man therefore where the knowledge of proportionality can be said to be one of the important indicators that Leonardo Da Vinci was indeed an architect.

The Vitruvian man also is an indication that Leonardo conceptualized geometry, an attribute that ahs been given important weight in Vitruvius's standards of an architect. The Vitruvius's standards advocate for an architect with a good sense of geometry which some of the aspects can be seen in Leonardo’s work.  He also has a good understanding of letters and thus can be able to read what has been written concerning his field. As noted by the Vitruvius's standards, a good architect must be able to read what has been written in the subject so that he can gain his own knowledge over the issue that is under discussion. Since Leonardo was a writer which indicates that he conceptualized letters and numbers, he has the qualities of an architect as per the Vitruvius's standards. 

As seen from the Leonardo's letter to Ludovico Sforza, Leonardo was indeed an architect of high standards. In this letter, Leonardo gives his Excellency a series of architectural plans especially when he mentions about his ability to manufacture bridges that would ensure that the enemies are pursued easily. The fact that Leonardo had an ability to construct light bridges indicates that he had a good conceptualization of architecture. He also had his own way to design bridges that would resist fierce an indication that what he was making was of high architectural designs that were not experienced before then. He also had ways to destroy rocks that could act as barriers especially in time of wars, another indication that he was an architect of high standing.

Another indicator from the letter that Leonardo was indeed an architect is how he describes his ability to construct underground bridges without producing noise. The fact that he conceptualized on how underground bridges could be built without letting them down is an indication that indeed Leonardo Da Vinci was indeed an architect of high standing. His knowledge of bridges and underground tunnels are an indication that he could new various architectural principles especially those that deals with anchoring and support. For underground tunnel to remain without falling down, they must be well supported by a systematic pillars left strategically in construction. He also had an ability to make numerous bridges in times of need within short durations, an indication that he was indeed a good architect.

His conclusion on this letter (Leonardo's letter to Ludovico Sforza) states that if the region was experiencing a time of peace, he  could be of invaluable benefit in architecture as well as in other functions such as conducting water which means that he could be useful in knowing how to control floods, or ensure that water reached a certain place. His ability to conduct water also can be witnessed by his architectural designs of machines for what he called “conducting water”. Such a machine is the one he designed for the purpose of excavating canals, an indication that indeed he had mastered the art of controlling various aspects of water, which gives him innumerable credit as an architect of high standing.

In conclusion, the evidence displayed here above is enough proof that Leonardo Da Vinci was indeed an architect. His ability to control water which included his ability to even raise water showed that he was an architect who could ensure that wherever the human habitation was positioned, there was enough water for human survival. He also meets most of the points that have been pointed out on the definitions of an architect as outlined by the Vitruvius's standards. He had ability to make bridges, underground tunnels, houses, and water ways on top of possessing a wide knowledge that spread across various fields of knowledge. This therefore indicates that Leonardo Da Vinci is indeed an architect as per the Vitruvius's standards.

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