Leonardo da Vinci’s Handwritten Resume (Circa 1482)



We understand that Michelangelo wrote grocery lists; now we have proof that Leonardo composed resumes. “Before he was well-known, prior to he painted the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, prior to he developed the helicopter, prior to he drew the most well-known picture of male, prior to he was all of these things, Leonardo da Vinci was an artificer, an armorer, a maker of things that go ‘boom,'” composes Marc Cendella on his blog site about job-searching and recruitment suggestions. “Like you, he needed to assemble a resume to get his next gig. In 1482, at the age of 30, he composed out a letter and a list of his abilities and sent it off to Ludovico il Moro, Duke of Milan.” Having yet to develop his track record as possibly the Italian Renaissance’s many appreciated polymath, Leonardo spelled himself out, in translation, as follows:

Most Illustrious Lord, Having now adequately thought about the specimens of all those who declare themselves proficient contrivers of instruments of war, which the development and operation of the stated instruments are absolutely nothing various from those in typical usage: I will strive, without bias to any one else, to describe myself to your Excellency, revealing your Lordship my trick, and after that providing them to your finest enjoyment and approbation to deal with result at suitable minutes on all those things which, in part, will be quickly kept in mind listed below.

1. I have a sort of strong and exceptionally light bridges, adjusted to be most quickly brought, and with them you might pursue, and at any time run away from the opponent; and others, protected and unbreakable by fire and fight, simple and hassle-free to put and raise. Approaches of burning and ruining those of the opponent.

2. I understand how, when a location is besieged, to take the water out of the trenches, and make limitless range of bridges, and covered ladders and methods, and other devices referring to such explorations.

3. If, by factor of the height of the banks, or the strength of the location and its position, it is difficult, when besieging a location, to get oneself of the strategy of barrage, I have techniques for ruining every rock or other fortress, even if it were established on a rock, and so on

4. Once again, I have type of mortars; most simple and hassle-free to bring; and with these I can fling little stones nearly looking like a storm; and with the smoke of these cause terrific fear to the opponent, to his terrific hinderance and confusion.

5. And if the battle needs to be at sea I have type of numerous devices most effective for offense and defense; and vessels which will withstand the attack of the biggest weapons and powder and fumes.

6. I have methods by trick and tortuous mines and methods, made without sound, to reach a designated area, even if it were required to pass under a river or a trench.

7. I will make covered chariots, unattackable and safe, which, getting in amongst the opponent with their weapons, there is no body of guys so terrific however they would break them. And behind these, infantry might follow rather safe and with no obstacle.

8. In case of requirement I will make huge weapons, mortars, and light ordnance of fine and helpful types, out of the typical type.

9. Where the operation of barrage may stop working, I would contrive catapults, mangonels, trabocchi, and other devices of wonderful effectiveness and not in typical usage. And in other words, according to the range of cases, I can contrive limitless and numerous methods of offense and defense.

10. In times of peace I think I can provide best fulfillment and to the equivalent of any other in architecture and the structure of structures personal and public; and in assisting water from one location to another.

11. I can perform sculpture in clay, bronze, or marble, and likewise I can do in painting whatever might be done, in addition to any other, be he who he may.

Again, the bronze horse might be tackled, which is to be to the never-ceasing splendor and everlasting honor of the prince your daddy of delighted memory, and of the renowned home of Sforza.

And if any of the above-named things appear to anybody to be not practical or difficult, I am most prepared to make the experiment in your park, or in whatever location might please your Excellency– to whom I comment myself with the utmost humbleness, and so on

Even the densest fifteenth-century Duke, I bet, might see the usage in a male able to make portable bridges, get water out of trenches, ruin rock built on rock, fling a storm of stones, strengthen vessels, pass under rivers, and make whatever from “huge weapons,” catapults, mangonels, and trabocchi to unattackable covered chariots. Leonardo naturally focuses on his wartime engineering abilities, he likewise touches on the variety of other disciplines– Renaissance male, keep in mind– he has actually mastered, like sculpture, painting, and architecture. Possibly most remarkably of all, he rattles off all these points without appearing especially boastful. “You’ll discover he does not recite previous accomplishments,” Cendella includes, “due to the fact that those have to do with his accomplishments, and not about the Duke’s requirements.” Still, he may have included that, provided simply a couple of more years, he might develop a pretty captivating organ.

Note: An earlier variation of this post appeared on our website in 2014.

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Michelangelo’s Handwritten 16th-Century Grocery List

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