Best quotes from Leonardo da Vinci

Victor Mochere
15 Min Read

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, more commonly Leonardo da Vinci or simply Leonardo, was an Italian polymath of the Renaissance whose areas of interest included invention, drawing, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. He has been variously called the father of paleontology, ichnology, and architecture, and he is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. 

Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute, helicopter, and tank, he epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Many historians and scholars regard Leonardo as the prime exemplar of the “Universal Genius” or “Renaissance Man”, an individual of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”, and he is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived.

Some of the best quotes from Leonardo da Vinci are listed below.

  1. “A beautiful body perishes, but a work of art dies not.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  2. “A diamond is just a lump of coal that stuck to its job.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  3. “A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  4. “A wave is never found alone, but is mingled with the other waves.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  5. “All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  6. “All thoughts start from emotions.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  7. “An arch consists of two weaknesses which, leaning one against the other, make a strength.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  8. “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  9. “As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  10. “As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  11. “As you cannot do what you want, want what you can do.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  12. “Be a mirror, absorb everything around you and still remain the same.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  13. “Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  14. “Blinding ignorance does mislead us. Open your eyes.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  15. “Common Sense is that which judges the things given to it by other senses.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  16. “Depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  17. “Every action needs to be prompted by a motive.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  18. “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  19. “Experience does not err. Only your judgments err by expecting from her what is not in her power.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  20. “Experience is a truer guide than the words of others.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  21. “For, verily, great love springs from great knowledge of the beloved object, and if you little know it, you will be able to love it only little or not at all.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  22. “He who can copy can do.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  23. “He who does not oppose evil, commands it to be done.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  24. “He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  25. “He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  26. “He who thinks little errs much.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  27. “He who truly knows has no occasion to shout.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  28. “He who wishes to be rich in a day will be hanged in a year.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  29. “I am not poor. Poor are those who desire many things.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  30. “I have always felt it is my destiny to build a machine that would allow man to fly.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  31. “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  32. “I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  33. “In time and with water, everything changes.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  34. “Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  35. “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  36. “It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  37. “Just as a well-filled day brings blessed sleep, so a well-employed life brings a blessed death.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  38. “Just as courage is the danger of life, so is fear its safeguard.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  39. “Learning is the only thing that never disappoints us.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  40. “Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  41. “Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  42. “Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  43. “Life well spent is long.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  44. “Life without love, is no life at all.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  45. “Love shows itself more in adversity than in prosperity; as light does, which shines most where the place is darkest.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  46. “Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  47. “Man’s external form, marvellously constructed, is not much as compared with the divine soul that dwells inside that structure.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  48. “Nature is the source of all true knowledge. She has her own logic, her own laws, she has no effect without cause nor invention without necessity.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  49. “Nature never breaks her own laws.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  50. “Nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first understood.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  51. “Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  52. “Obstacles cannot crush me; every obstacle yields to stern resolve.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  53. “Once you have tasted the taste of sky, you will forever look up.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  54. “One can have no more mastery over the environment, than one has over himself.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  55. “One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  56. “One has no right to love or hate anything if one has not acquired a thorough knowledge of its nature.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  57. “Painting is concerned with all the 10 attributes of sight; which are: Darkness, Light, Solidity and Colour, Form and Position, Distance and Propinquity, Motion and Rest.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  58. “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  59. “Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  60. “Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  61. “Realize that everything connects to everything else.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  62. “Reprove your friend in secret and praise him openly.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  63. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  64. “Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  65. “Tears come from the heart and not from the brain.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  66. “The acquisition of knowledge is always of use to the intellect because it may thus drive out useless things and retain the good. For nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first known.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  67. “The deeper the feeling, the greater the pain.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  68. “The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  69. “The knowledge of all things is possible.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  70. “The natural desire of good men is knowledge.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  71. “The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  72. “The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  73. “There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  74. “There is no object so large but that at a great distance from the eye it does not appear smaller than a smaller object near.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  75. “Time abides long enough for those who make use of it.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  76. “To be a winner you must want to win but must know of the chance of losing and must not fear of it.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  77. “To develop a complete mind: Study the science of art; Study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  78. “Virtue is our true wealth and the true reward of its possessor; it cannot be lost, it never deserts us until life leaves us.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  79. “Whatever you do in life, if you want to be creative and intelligent, and develop your brain, you must do everything with the awareness that everything, in some way, connects to everything else.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  80. “When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  81. “While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  82. “Who sows virtue reaps honor.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  83. “Whoever does not respect life, does not deserve it.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  84. “Why does the eye see more clearly when asleep than the imagination when awake?” – Leonardo da Vinci
  85. “Wisdom is the daughter of experience.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  86. “You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  87. “You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  88. “You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself…the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. …And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  89. “Your brain is much better than you think; just use it!” – Leonardo da Vinci
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Victor Mochere is a blogger, social media influencer, and netpreneur creating and marketing digital content.
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