Explore the trails on the right to find out how in Leonardo's view of the world, all things are interconnected - the motion of water and the curling of hair, the human body and the mechanisms of machines, the geometrical rules that govern man, animals and all of nature.

Alternatively, the interactive timeline at the top of the page provides a visual representation of the trails by linking related images. Click on a coloured dot to start a trail.

Leonardo is often presented as a scientist, artist or engineer. But for him, all natural phenomena are the product of the same natural forces and governed by the same natural law.

Both the engineer and artist must learn how nature designed its forms according to their function and obey the same laws. Science, art and engineering are all achieved by direct observation and scientific investigation of the natural world. As such, they are all part of the same creative vision, through which man can create a “second nature” in the world.

The Body of Earth

Leonardo saw the planet earth as a living entity, with all of its elements in a constant state of flux….

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The Body of Man

According to Leonardo, man was nature’s most perfect creation, "the measure of all things"...

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Imagination and Invention

By combining scientific observation with imagination and invention, the painter had the power to create “fictions that signified great things”…

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Remaking Nature

For Leonardo, the artist’s task was to remake nature in his art, rather than slavishly copy natural forms…

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Forces of Nature

For Leonardo, flowing water, curling hair and the growth patterns of plants were all manifestations of the same natural force…

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The Natural World

Leonardo studied man, animals, plants and all natural phenomena intensely in his quest to understand all natural things…

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Light and Vision

Leonardo believed that sight was the most important of all the senses, the eye being the “window of the soul”…

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Rule of Mathematics

All things in nature are governed by mathematics – “Let no-one who is not a mathematician read my principles”…

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