“Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.”Leonardo da Vinci
Leonard da Vinci (1452–1519) was a master at doing something else. When he wasn't being an anatomist, he was an architect, biologist, botanist, cartographer, chemist, engineer, mathematician, painter, or sculptor. The average person would be happy to be proficient or recognized in one of these areas. But Leonardo da Vinci excelled at all of these.
He is credited with many ideas and inventions he originated while he lived in Italy, but few were constructed or even feasible during his lifetime, existing now only as models or reproductions in museums. In contrast, in French chateaus there are beautiful spiral staircases that are viewed every day by tourists and are attributed to da Vinci. But what evidence exists that supports his being the architect of these structures, and were his spiral staircases modeled after seashells?
It turns out that da Vinci spent his latter years in France. During the War of the League of Cambrai, the French king, Francis I, recaptured land previously lost in Italy, which included Milan. In a deal that may have included the Pope, in 1516 da Vinci ended up in the service of Francis I. Leonardo moved to France and was provided housing and necessary support at a small chateau close to the king's residence. Leonardo took two paintings to France, …