Leonardo Da Vinci; Ideative genius

by Robert Siegel on October 5, 2009

What makes Da Vinci Ideative is the depth and breadth of his Experience and Knowledge. He Inundated his mind with such passion that he dissected human bodies despite its being illegal. He Deviated from his routines and Enhanced his Experience and Knowledge through the breadth of his activities that included just about every pursuit of the mind available during his era, and he Assembled by filling notebooks with writing and drawings of his incredible Ideas.

Da Vinci is both a both example of how Ideative works and a demonstration of Ideative’s power.

Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the most Ideative people in history. He is often referred to in terms like polymath, the most diversely talented person ever to have lived, insatiably curious, and the ultimate Renaissance man. Da Vinci was a painter, engineer, inventor, mathematician, human anatomist, botanist, sculpture, architect, planner, geographer, scientist, astronomer and I am probably leaving something out.

Da Vinci’s life gives us the exmaple of the best in idea development. He understood that to create ideas a person needs great depth of Experience and Knowledge in their field.

“It is indispensable to a painter to be thoroughly familiar with the limbs in all the positions and actions of which they are capable, in the nude, (Then he will) know the anatomy of the sinews, bones, muscles, and tendons…”

“To compose (groups of) figures in historical pictures, when you have well learnt perspective and have by heart the parts and forms of objects, you must go about and constantly, as you go, observe, note and consider the circumstances and behavior of men in talking, quarreling or laughing or fighting together..”

He developed his mind in multiple fields beyond an integrated those skills

“When a place is besieged I know how to cut off water from the trenches and how to construct an infinite number of bridges, mantlets, scaling ladders and other instruments which have to do with the same enterprise.”

“Instrumental or mechanical science is the noblest and above all others the most useful, seeing that by means of it all animated bodies which have movement perform all their actions; and the origin of these movements is at the center of their gravity.”

Da Vinci Assembled his Ideas by literally thinking onto the pages of his notebooks, now considered a treasure. I am writing this while flipping through a collection of the best of some 4,000 pages of the Ideative genius’ sketches, notes, and writing. Through his notebooks you can examine sketches and descriptions of the human head, then a detailed description of a flying machine, cannons, and military planning, each an area of expertise Da Vinci used to cross-polinate the other areas of his thinking.

Da Vinci’s Ideative methods are not part of the myth’s that made up the Da Vinci Code and other popular fiction. They are available for everyone to see through his notebooks and his art. I will write about Da Vinci, Ideative genius in the coming months, including a review of Da Vinci exhibit coming to Atlanta’s High Museum this month. I will show you how The Ideative Process will help you think like Da Vinci, Ideative genius.

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