Despite the previous weather forecasts that suggested a day full of rain, I was lucky enough to wake up to yet another beautiful morning in Milan. After a hearty breakfast, our group once again navigated the mysterious metro in order to go to our first museum in Milan! We were greeted by a bubbly tour guide who guided us through the museum that was named after the famous Leonardo Da Vinci himself. Leonardo Di Vinci is a facet not just of Italian culture, but the culture of the world as well. He was the true idealization of a renaissance man; not only was Leonardo a painter but he was also an engineer and scientist. Although many things about Leonardo fascinate me, his scientific ideas intrigue me the most. Even though I am not an engineering major, I am still able to appreciate the scope and scale of his varying hypotheses.
Although Leonardo was able to create beautiful pieces of artwork such as the Mona Lisa, his mind was capable of perhaps even more beautiful works of science. Leonardo was the first person to perfect the proportions of the human body. Leonardo quickly realized that the perfect body type would have an arm span as long as the whole human body. Leonardo had even more anatomy skills than that, he was able to to use wax to make an eerily accurate diagram of the human brain. It is fascinating to me how in tune with the human body Leonardo Da Vinci was. The medical ideas Leonardo created have had groundbreaking influences on medicine and life. Leonardo Da Vinci also dabbled in the art of architecture. Leonardo sketched and planned an ideal city to reflect the prestige of the Milan. The ideal city was based on Leonardo’s ideals of geography, and since Leonardo had the mindset of an engineer he had a more practical take on this ideal city. This practicality stemmed from his desire to make a more health conscious city. What is interesting was how Leo noticed all the problems with Milan’s sanitation; his plan included more canals and the use of optimal positioning with two different levels to improve hygiene and functionality. His well thought out engineering plans were later used to save lives from contagious diseases such as the flu. It is amazing to me how Leonardo was able to conduct this plan without the help of teachers nor textbooks. Leonardo’s drawings of city structures were groundbreaking for the engineering of the time. Even though the lingering legacy of Leonardo’s anatomy and architecture skills fascinate me, perhaps most interesting are his drawings that hint at objects flying. Leonardo’s flying project was declared top secret by the Duke of Milan. The Duke put Leonardo in a secret room to conduct his work. It is amazing how something as common as a bird was the inspiration for Leonardo to try to make men fly. Unfortunately the project was abandoned before its completion due to a lack of funds. Not only was Leonardo smart, but he also had a complex personality. Leonardo was employed by the church to paint the last supper. The painting was supposed to take six months, however Leonardo took his time and the painting took over four years to finish. This was during a time when the church was more respected than the king, a bold move by Leonardo Da Vinci. In addition, the church made a mistake in the budget and hence Leonardo was given a lot more money to buy supplies with. Leonardo knew that there was an error in the budget, but instead of returning the money he used the extra cash to buy the most expensive paints offered for his painting. Leonardo was a genius who followed his own rules. However, what interests me the most about Leonardo are the works of art and science that we are not able to see. Unfortunately, half of Leonardo’s work had been lost or stolen over time. I wonder what more innovations and scientific breakthroughs could have been come to faster if his sketches and ideas had not been displaced. I am excited for our first site visit tomorrow and to get a real life taste of supply chain management.