When Leonardo da Vinci is brought up, many think of his art: the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper just to name a few. However, I have discovered that da Vinci was more than just a man of art but also a man of thought, his paintings merely documentations of his findings.
Here is a quote from da Vinci I found in the book Leonardo da Vinci: The Complete Drawings and Paintings by Frank Zöllner in the Archives & Special Collections.
Unable to resist my eager desire and wanting to see the great [wealth] of the various and strange shapes made by formative nature, and having wandered some distance among gloomy rocks, I came to the entrance of a great cavern, in front of which I stood some time, astonished and unaware of such a thing. Bending my head back into an arch I rested my left hand on my knee and held my right hand over my down-cast and contracted eyebrows; often bending forth one way and then the other, to see whether I could discover anything inside, and this being forbidden by the deep darkness within, and after having remained there for some time, two contrary emotions arose in me – fear of the threatening dark cavern, desire to see whether there were any marvelous things within it…
In a very poetic way, Leonardo da Vinci paints a colorful image of the desire for knowledge and how it is both frightening and wonderful at the same time.
Stop by and take a look Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. in the Archives & Special Collections on the second floor of the Library.
By Sierra Scott