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Memorable quotes by Leonardo da Vinci on flying, simplicity, human body, love and nature.

98 Memorable Quotes By Leonardo Da Vinci That Will Leave A Lasting Impression On You

Quick Facts

Also Listed In

Famous As
Painter, Sculptor, Architect, Engineer, Scientist

Born On
15 April 1452 AD

Died On
02 May 1519 AD

Born In
Vinci

Died At Age
67

What William Shakespeare is to literature is Leonardo da Vinci to painting. Undoubtedly the greatest painter of the Renaissance Era, Leonardo da Vinci was a born genius whose unquenchable thirst and feverishly inventive imagination made him an iconic man of his generation. Today, he is revered as the most diversely talented individuals to have ever lived on Planet Earth. Some historians even go to the extent of calling him a ‘superhuman’ for no other man without superhuman qualities can claim to have such a daunting influence and expertise over a wide range of different subject areas. An Italian polymath, Leonardo’s area of interest widely ranged from invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics and engineering to literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. Furthermore, he is widely known as the Father of Palaeontology, Ichnology, and Architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. He is even credited with the inventions of parachute, helicopter and tank. He conceptualized flying machines that were only realized several years after his death. In the field of art, he left behind a rich legacy of paintings, including the greatest ever art produced on canvas, ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘The Vitruvian Man’. While ‘Mona Lisa’ became the most famous and parodied portrait, ‘The Last Supper’ has been the most reproduced religious painting of all time. His painting of ‘The Vitruvian Man’ is a cultural icon and depicts the perfect blend of art and science. However, Leonardo created magic not only with his brush but with his pen too. His quotes covering the varied aspects of life are food for thought. Browse through his section and explore some of da Vinci’s quotes on life.

I abhor the supreme folly of those who blame the disciples of nature in defiance of those masters who were themselves her pupils

- Thoughts on Art and Life, Leonardo da Vinci

Like a kingdom divided, which rushes to its doom, the mind that engages in subjects of too great variety becomes confused and weakened.

- Leonardo's Notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci

The men of experiment are like the ant; they only collect and use. But the bee gathers its materials from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own.

- Leonardo's Notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci

If the painter wishes to see beauties that charm him, it lies in his power to create them, and if he wishes to see monstrosities that are frightful, ridiculous, or truly pitiable, he is lord and God thereof.

- Leonardo's Notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci

As a well-spent day gives, joy in sleep so a well-spent life brings, joy in dying

- Thoughts on Art and Life, Leonardo da Vinci

When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.

- Leonardo da Vinci

La semplicit la sofisticazione finale.

- Leonardo da Vinci

In time and with water, everything changes

- Leonardo da Vinci

If there's no love, what then?

- The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Leonardo da Vinci

The supreme misfortune is when theory outstrips performance

- Leonardo da Vinci

The water you touch in a river is the last of that which has passed, and the first of that which is coming. Thus it is with time present. Life, if well spent, is long.

- Leonardo's Notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci

The organ of perception acts more readily than judgment.

- Leonardo da Vinci

A wave is never found alone, but is mingled with the other waves.

- Leonardo da Vinci

The eye sees a thing more clearly in dreams, than the imagination awake.

- Leonardo da Vinci

It is an acknowledged fact that we perceive errors in the work of others more readily than in our own.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Just as a well-filled day brings blessed sleep, so a well-employed life brings a blessed death.

- Leonardo da Vinci

The human bird shall take his first flight,filling the words with amazement,all writings with his fame,and bringing eternal glory to those whose nest whence he sprang.

- Leonardo da Vinci

He who can copy can do.

- Leonardo da Vinci

What is fair in men, passes away, but not so in art

- Leonardo da Vinci

Experience does not err; only your judgments err by expecting from her what is not in her power.

- Leonardo da Vinci

A well-spent day brings happy sleep

- Leonardo da Vinci

We must doubt the certainty of everything which passes through the senses, but how much more ought we to doubt things contrary to the senses, such as the existence of God and the soul.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Those who, in debate, appeal to their qualifications, argue from memory, not from understanding.

- Leonardo da Vinci

If you find from your own experience that something is a fact and it contradicts what some authority has written down, then you must abandon the authority and base your reasoning on your own findings.

- Leonardo da Vinci

He who does not punish evil, commands it to be done.

- Leonardo da Vinci

He who truly knows has no occasion to shout.

- Leonardo da Vinci

The worst evil which can befall the artist is that his work should appear good in his own eyes.

- Leonardo da Vinci

He is a poor pupil who does not go beyond his master.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Wisdom is the daughter of experience

- Leonardo da Vinci

Man has much power of discourse which for the most part is vain and false; animals have but little, but it is useful and true, and a small truth is better than a great lie.

- Leonardo's Notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci

Men of lofty genius when they are doing the least work are most active.

- Leonardo da Vinci

The painter will produce pictures of little merit if he takes the works of others as his standard.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail.

- Leonardo da Vinci

As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Many have made a trade of delusions and false miracles, deceiving the stupid multitudes.

- Leonardo da Vinci

The mind that engages in subjects of too great variety becomes confused and weakened.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Truth at last cannot be hidden. Dissimulation is of no avail. Dissimulation is to no purpose before so great a judge. Falsehood puts on a mask. Nothing is hidden under the sun.

- Leonardo da Vinci

The acquisition of knowledge is always of use to the intellect, because it may thus drive out useless things and retain the good. For nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first known.

- Leonardo da Vinci

I awoke only to find that the rest of the world was still asleep.

- Leonardo's Notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci

Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Why does the eye see more clearly when asleep than the imagination when awake?

- Leonardo da Vinci

Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.

- Leonardo da Vinci

He who wishes to be rich within a day, will be hanged within a year.

- Leonardo da Vinci

In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time.

- Leonardo da Vinci

He who does not oppose evil......commands it to be done.

- Leonardo da Vinci

He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.

- Leonardo da Vinci

My body will not be a tomb for other creatures.

- Leonardo da Vinci

He who possesses most must be most afraid of loss.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Obstacles cannot crush me; every obstacle yields to stern resolve.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Once you have tasted the taste of sky, you will forever look up

- Leonardo on Painting: An Anthology of Writings by Leonardo Da Vinci with a Selection of Documents Relating to His Career, Leonardo da Vinci

A poet knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Our life is made by the death of others.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Blinding ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!

- Leonardo da Vinci

He who thinks little errs much…

- Leonardo da Vinci

All sciences are vain and full of errors that are not born of Experience, the mother of all Knowledge.

- Leonardo's Notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci

God sells us all things at the price of labor.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose

- Leonardo da Vinci

Water is the driving force in nature.

- Leonardo da Vinci

I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have.

- Leonardo da Vinci

All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions

- Leonardo da Vinci

Realize that everything connects to everything else.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Intellectual passion drives out sensuality.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Time stays long enough for those who use it.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.

- Leonardo da Vinci

The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.

- Leonardo da Vinci

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.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Life without love, is no life at all

- Leonardo da Vinci

I thought I was learning to live; I was only learning to die.

- Leonardo da Vinci

As you cannot do what you want, Want what you can do

- Leonardo da Vinci

It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.

- Leonardo da Vinci

The deeper the feeling, the greater the pain

- Leonardo da Vinci

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses- especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.

- Leonardo da Vinci

The function of muscle is to pull and not to push, except in the case of the genitals and the tongue.

- Leonardo da Vinci

There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Learning never exhausts the mind.

- Leonardo da Vinci

The knowledge of all things is possible

- Leonardo da Vinci

The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Art is never finished, only abandoned.

- Leonardo da Vinci

As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.

- Leonardo da Vinci

The smallest feline is a masterpiece.

- Leonardo da Vinci

I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first understood.

- Leonardo da Vinci

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

- Leonardo da Vinci

One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.

- Leonardo da Vinci

I love those who can smile in trouble...

- Leonardo da Vinci

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.

- Leonardo da Vinci

The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.

- Leonardo da Vinci

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.

- Leonardo da Vinci

A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.

- Leonardo da Vinci

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.

- Leonardo da Vinci