Geological Sketches


Leonardo da Vinci is known for some of his great works of art and many scientific discoveries, but one of his lesser known discoveries has to do with his geological studies.  A big shift in Renaissance painting had to do with the landscape in the back of paintings which was much different than the Byzantine art prior which had more of a blank background.  Because of Leonardo’s sketches and art there was a shift to put more attention into the background in images. In this sketch from his notebooks there is dimension in the back of the sketch that contrasts with the ducks sitting in the foreground of the picture.  This image also showed what was a profound idea at the time, that water sculpts a lot of our landscapes, which can be seen in the depth of the ravine depicted. Just as Leonardo looked into the proportionality of the human body, he also had a fascination for how landscape followed certain rules.

Works Cited:

Jones, Johnathan. Leonardo Da Vinci's Earth-Shattering Insights about Geology. 23 Nov. 2011,

Rosenberg, Gary D. The Revolution in Geology from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. measure of man and landscape in the Renaissance and Scientific Revolution&source=bl&ots=W3I7yCPzEN&sig=kfjmIKKDkQZ-rVjKVi92JBChS7U&hl=it&sa=X&ei=ir1PU7uQMoqM0wWgkICYDw#v=onepage&q=The measure of man and landscape in the Renaissance and Scientific Revolution&f=false.

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