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The Lost Drawings of
Leonardo da Vinci

portrait.jpg (14515 bytes)Recent news from Italy has rocked the art world to its very foundation. In an astonishing turn of events, art historians have discovered a rare cache of drawings believed to have been penned by famed artist Leonardo da Vinci.

The drawings are testament to the fact that Leonardo was not only one of the greatest artists in history (famous for the Mona Lisa and The Last Brunch, among others), but he was also an inspired and prolific inventor.

Prior to the discovery of the "lost" drawings, Leonardo was already credited with the invention of a number of items which endure today--including scissors, the parachute, machine gun and what is believed to be a primitive precursor to our modern-day helicopter. Here, for the first time, are reproductions of the lost drawings with a cursory analysis of their historic significance.


flip-flop.gif (33504 bytes)This well-preserved image has startled even the most ardent aficionados of Leonardo's work. During Leonardo's time, the common sandal was the predominant form of footwear.

But Italians clamored for a form of foot protection which would better serve them during their leisure time--usually spent at Italy's renowned beaches. Through trial and error, Leonardo seems to have developed what are now referred to as "flip-flops." While this type of footwear did not find widespread acceptance during Leonardo's lifetime, it is hard to imagine what our lives today would be like without them.


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Historians have been shaken by the discovery of this sketch which appears to be the earliest known depiction of the letter "E."

During Leonardo's time, the use of vowels was strictly monitored by the Catholic church, so in his bold invention of the "E," Leonardo was subjecting himself to scorn and even the possibility of imprisonment.

However, the imagination of Leonardo da Vinci could not be suppressed or squelched.

The letter "E" is now our most commonly used letter of the alphabet.


enema.jpg (17725 bytes)Leonardo's genius was not limited to the world of science (or fashion). He also dabbled in the world of medicine. This drawing stumped art historians at first. Then, as experts began to decipher Leonardo's signature "reverse writing," it was clear Leonardo had foreseen a time when technology would aid in treating many of our ills.

Experts agree--this drawing is a prototype for the first automated enema. Leonardo was truly ahead of his time.


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It should come as no surprise that Leonardo would often use his abilities to address the needs of the common man.

During his day, dental hygiene was in a frightful state. It was believed, for instance, that brushing one's teeth would provide a passageway for demons into the body.

Leonardo railed against the prevailing superstitions of the day and surmised that a "mint" of some sort might, in fact, "freshen" ones breath--hence bypassing the need to brush one's teeth altogether.

Surprisingly, our modern "Tic Tac" (manufactured in Italy, by the way) is eerily similar to the early version envisioned by Leonardo.


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Leonardo da Vinci, while brilliant, was nevertheless fallible.

There were a number of his inventions which did not quite hit the mark.

Found amidst the recently unearthed drawings was this confounding image--believed to be Leonardo's "blueprint" for the earliest known brassiere.

While one can see what Leonardo was going for, it is also apparent why Leonardo's bra would not catch on with the masses until further refinements were made by more recent innovators.


CONCLUSION

The renown of Leonardo da Vinci is sure to reach unprecedented heights as word of these extraordinary drawings spreads.

Leonardo's profound contribution to the worlds of art and science are unlikely to be replicated. He was a man of singular foresight, inspired talent (not to mention poor personal grooming).

His legend continues to grow. His inventions spark our imaginations, and in some cases cause us to spit up milk through our collective noses. What more could we ask for from the quintessential Renaissance man?

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