Talk:Leonardo da Vinci

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Former featured article Leonardo da Vinci is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Good article Leonardo da Vinci has been listed as one of the Art and architecture good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 10, 2004.


There is no phonosyntactic strengthening, after "da", in "da Vinci". No Italian would even think such a pronunciation is even an option, and say: "davvìnci". It's absurd.


Semi-protected edit request on 21 February 2015[edit]

The third paragraph of the article includes the following sentence: "Perhaps fifteen of his paintings have survived, the small number because of his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination."

Please remove the last four words of the sentence (and the comma), ", and his chronic procrastination" because what evidence is there that he procrastinated. I find it hard to believe that a person with so many talents that he clearly developed could be said to have "chronic procrasternation"?

2607:F470:6:5001:7156:F79B:B22A:9FEF (talk) 10:21, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Note: This does not imply that the statement is correct, but it seems that it was added in 2007. Anon126 (notify me of responses! / talk / contribs) 18:09, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
I added a "Citation needed" tag there. Can someone find any evidence that he "procrastinated"? I am also pinging PiCo because it seems like he inserted this in an edit about 8 years ago. Tony Tan98 · talk 21:53, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Eight years ago! Jezuz H. Christus! I certainly can't remember doing it, though that's hardly surprising. Nevertheless, Leonardo was indeed a chronic procrastinator. It's stated in all the biographies. Do you want me to look one up, or can someone else do it?PiCo (talk) 06:18, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Vasari is the first biographer responsible for that little "factoid", see here. I would agree with the OP that more evidence is required for this. When citing references on this issue, it will have to be explained to the reader that it is a particular biographer's opinion, rather than proven fact. It would be relatively easy to find references on people who have made accusations of procrastination (for example here), rather than find references on proof of what actually constitutes chronic procrastination. A lack of completion of works is not sufficient justification for accusing someone of chronic procrastination. One person's procrastination is another person's perfectionism. We know also for example that the Battle of Anghiari was not completed because disaster befell it, i.e. external factors beyond control. We know the bronze horse was not cast because the Moor decided to use the bronze instead for military purposes. We know that the Pope cut short a career in anatomy, thereby delaying the completion and therefore publication of an intended treatise in anatomy. One could argue that not completing a work such as the Adoration of the Magi was the result of procrastination, however some biographers consider this to be in as finished a state as it could possibly be (I'm sure I could find references for that). Isabella d'Este was impatient to receive her portrait, and what she considered "delaying tactics" ignores the possibility of being extremely busy engaged with other affairs. If you examine the thousands of pages of notebooks (and that's only what has survived), you may wonder how time was ever found to do any painting at all! On the other hand many paintings are known to be "lost", which is hardly an indication of low output and certainly not proof of procrastination. Leonardo da VinciTalk 20:15, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Every word that you say may well be true, but it's all OR. Find sources. (Please note that the issue isn't whether he was a chronic procrastinator, but whether this was in issue in his small output of paintings). PiCo (talk) 08:16, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
My point seems to have been lost. In essence I was agreeing and clarifying what the OP said, who was looking for support in his/her argument to remove the statement that had no references. The claim of "chronic procrastination" cannot be made in Wikipedia's voice, it requires references to even exist. Furthermore, I was explaining the difficulty in claiming "chronic procrastination" using examples of things that are proven to be unfinished (as well as paintings), not procrastinated. I was using examples to illustrate a point, not arguing for their inclusion (in which case I would have to provide sources, which I have no trouble doing, if you checked my contribution history). Simply put: If I said your hair is green does that mean your hair is green? No, it is not proof that your hair is green, but simply proof that someone said it was. Likewise if I called you a procrastinator that is not proof of procrastination but simply proof of a statement about procrastination. And so, getting back to the edit request - it needs to show in the sentence that it is "alleged" by such-and-such a biographer. Since I imagine it would be difficult to find references to PROVE "chronic procrastination", it is the easier option to find references for biographers who have been quoted as saying "Leonardo was a chronic procrastinator" (without them actually proving it). Leonardo da VinciTalk 14:41, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 22:15, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
To be fair to the OP, he can hardly produce a reliable source saying that Leonardo's small output was not due to procrastination. The issue is an important one - why did he produce so few paintings? What's needed is a source telling the reader why. The sentence now has a citation needed tag, which is quite legitimate, but someone has to do the work of looking this up. 01:32, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Using a double negative or reverse logic to justify the inclusion of a statement without sources is unencyclopedic. You are trying to mask the necessity of justifying a claim without sources by saying you need sources to justify its removal? Wikipedia doesn't work that way! That's like saying you know there is an afterlife simply because nobody has proved otherwise. Therefore you assume there is an afterlife because people haven't proven there isn't one. That is unscientific and unencyclopedic. In natural justice someone is innocent until proven guilty not the other way around. You don't assume guilt from the start, because then you suffer from confirmation bias when attempting to justify or explain it. Therefore, you sir, not I, are the one "using OR" in this instance. The phrase "chronic procrastination" should be removed as it is redundant to include an unverified assertion of unknown provenance, unknown origin, in the hope that a reference might exist somewhere. The phrase can always be added again if sources turn up. Rather than start an edit war, I will give notice here that it will be removed if no sources are found. Leonardo da VinciTalk 14:41, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Quick note- the Romans, who we base our system of justice on, used the system of guilty until proven innocent. The Pokémon Fan (talk) 01:55, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Most of the article has no reliable sources, beginning with the first sentence. If I removed everything that has no RS there's be about a third of it left. PiCo (talk) 05:29, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
An excellent suggestion! Leonardo da VinciTalk 11:31, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Forgotten description[edit]

I forgot to describe my edit to the page. It goes as follows: This edit is simply to add more links to other pages. Thank you. The Pokémon Fan (talk) 22:55, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 May 2015[edit]

Please add the following in the infobox | occupation = polymath, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, artist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer Drop from an olive tree (talk) 19:49, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done:. Per MOS:INFOBOX, the purpose of an infobox is to summarize information, not repeat text that has already been stated word-for-word in the very first sentence of the introduction. For the sake of brevity, I'm declining this request. Altamel (talk) 21:16, 28 May 2015 (UTC)


I deleted a recent addition, referenced to an encyclopedia, that claimed that Leonardo influenced the course of Italian painting for over 100 years. This is a serious understatement. The introduction contains a paragraph that deals specifically with his role as painter. It includes the following statement:

"Perhaps fifteen of his paintings have survived, the small number because of his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques.[nb 1] Nevertheless, these few works, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, compose a contribution to later generations of artists rivalled only by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo."

This means that in the entire history of art, no-one has had more influence except perhaps Michelangelo. It is not about "art of Italy". It is not reduce to a hundred year time span. The influence continues 500 years later.

Amandajm (talk) 12:20, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Inaccurate use of "patronymic"?[edit]

I'm noticing that User:Wolfdog's June 3 2015 edit stating that "da Vinci" is patronymic seems at odds with the article text and references, general understanding, and isn't itself well-sourced.

The text below gives details on Leonardo's name, which in full form as recorded in birth records is "Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci", that is, Leonardo, son of Sir Piero, of Vinci.

It seems that the "da Vinci" is not patronymic but is based on place or location. The fact that Leonoardo's father also was "da Vinci" seems to reflect on place rather than patronymic as well.

That would make Leonardo's name a combination of given ("Leonardo"), patronymic ("di ser Piero"), and place-based ("da Vinci"). And, that "da Vinci" itself isn't patronymic.

That said, none of history, name conventions or terminology, nor Leonardo himself are specific areas of expertise for me. But this looks incorrect in both fact and support.

Dredmorbius (talk) 23:29, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

And this has since been rectified. Dredmorbius (talk) 02:09, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Da Vinci's "tank."[edit]

I wonder if we shall ever see the end of this tedious insistence that Da Vinci "invented" or designed a "tank" (or even "the" tank). I have replaced the link to Tank with a link to Armoured Fighting Vehicle, which is at least arguable. We just have to tolerate the notion that wooden planks = "armour," there being no reliable evidence that the shell of the machine was made of anything else. The description "armoured vehicle" is not adequate, since that ignores the vehicle's armament and intended purpose - it could mean simply that the occupants were protected rather than armed. So "armoured fighting vehicle" will have to do. Leave aside that scarcely any aspect of this device would have worked; somehow, this doodle has achieved "notability," so it has to be represented in some fashion, but let us not exaggerate its properties in the way Da Vinci's worshippers do. He no more invented the tank than Jules Verne invented the submarine or H.G. Wells invented time travel (or the tank). Hengistmate (talk) 20:56, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 September 2015[edit]

In the fifth paragraph of the outline, "conceptualised" appears to be misspelled. I assume the correct spelling is conceptualized.

He conceptualised flying machines, a type of armoured fighting vehicle, concentrated solar power, an adding machine,[9] and the double hull, also outlining a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. (talk) 19:43, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done It looks like the article is written in British English. Therefore, that spelling would be correct and so would other spellings in the article like; centre and characterisation. Inomyabcs (talk) 20:59, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

Angelo Paratico Leonardo Da Vinci. A Chinese Scholar Lost in Renaissance Italy[edit]

This Hong-Kong based journalist has written a book, Leonardo Da Vinci. A Chinese Scholar Lost in Renaissance Italy, which has received considerable publicity, enough to be mentioned in various relevant articles. There has been of course criticism. See for instance [1] (I'm not sure if this meets RS but it gives some context for us), [2], [3], [4], [5] and many other sources. Doug Weller (talk) 09:43, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

All WP:UNDUE if you ask me. The Isleworth Mona Lisa is pretty dubious (as an original). Here's Dr Bendor Grosvenor off the telly, or Prof. Martin Kemp. Johnbod (talk) 12:37, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, flaky isn't the word really. By the way, Martin Kemp does a brilliant demolition job. Chiswick Chap (talk) 13:35, 8 October 2015 (UTC)