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Jun 27

Leonardo comes out swinging mighty knowledge pendulum

Posted on June 27, 2019 at 8:30 AM by Michael Goens

What you think you might know about Leonardo da Vinci may only be a solitary brushstroke upon the canvas of his best-known works – The Last Supper and Mona Lisa – in relation to the enormity of his analytic, analogous and scientific study. With nearly every breath during the late 15th and early 16th centuries, Leonardo was stimulated to thought-provoking study and diagnostic reasoning.

The sheer magnitude of drawings and thorough examinations of anatomy and predecessor to machinery advancements would astound those who think of Leonardo – exclusively through the man’s painting and sculpture – as the epitome of “Renaissance Man.” Architect, engineer, machinist … anatomist, botanist, geologist and scientist … cartographer and aerodynamic theorist, all of these were among circa 1400s research from Florence, Italy.


Dream with Da Vinci exhibition
“He wanted to learn about everything,” reads one display within “Dream with Da Vinci” exhibition, on display through September at Flint Hills Discovery Center in southeast Manhattan at 315 S. Third St. Exhibit stations each carry extremely interactive components: Virtuvian Man, Spinning Wheel, Parachute Drop, Catapult, Glider, Bridge Building, Sculpting and Writing, with kids’ play in mind.

The dynamics of Leonardo’s illuminative studies are startling, such that Kansas State University’s dean of APDesign discerns they are evocative of the college’s philosophy and instructional path. Tim de Noble with K-State’s architecture college marvels at Leonardo’s legacy and significant influence on Western civilization.

Dream with Da Vinci

“Dream with Da Vinci” takes an elemental approach to his rudimentary creations, which keeps short attention span kids occupied to “get them interested in looking more into Leonardo,” de Noble says. And further than just Leonardo, his relationships with a “long line of geniuses in Florence at the time.”

While enthused to celebrate Leonardo’s legacy, de Noble and APDesign students contributed to May’s Flint Hills Festival and plan for Leonardo-inspired devices during Aug. 24 Da Vinci Day at Flint Hills Discovery Center.

Glider at da Vinci exhibition

Interactive components for children
Flint Hills Discovery marketing coordinator Kynedee Hodges accounted for catapults, parachutes and sculpture stations among the most popular in the 10-stage exhibition that opened in May.

Leonardo came closer to perfecting a technique known as sfumato – the subtle and minute gradation of tone and color used to blur contours – than contemporaries. This was largely based on his anatomical research in optics and human vision.

Bridge Building 2

“He was well educated in painting,” de Noble observed, “but he took it further in terms of how to in his attempt to become ‘more real,’ if you will. He in a way did away with the line because he was so capable of blending paints to capture the curvature and nuances of the face.

“That was really beyond what anybody else at that period of time was doing with paint blending.”  

Check out “Dream with Da Vinci” through Sept. 8 at Flint Hills Discovery Center, which will feature Da Vinci Day (Aug. 24) and National Day of the Cowboy (July 27) for upcoming special events.

On Exhibit at FHDC: Dream with Da Vinci   Leonardo's brilliance endures   Konza Prairie  Flint Hills Discovery Center tribute to regional geography   Widgets Family Fun in Manhattan   


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