Many people’s to-do lists are filled with little, everyday tasks that, by definition, can slip out of their minds. Look at the pre-meeting notes, buy milk for the kids, pay the bills…
Contrary to all this, Leonardo Da Vinci’s to-dolist, which we can never describe as an ordinary person, is quite outside of the ordinary.
Da Vinci was very sensitive about carrying notebooks. In this way, he could write and draw any bright idea that came to his mind or anything he inspired. “Very useful,” Leonardo said, “for observing, taking notes, and thinking.” He was so attached to them that he was buried with his notebook. In recent years, a to-do list written by Leonardo in the 1490s has been found. But what a to-do list!
Robert Krulwich of NPR translated this list directly from Leonardo’s handwriting. The list is not very clear to us when read at first, but it is also clear that Leonardo did not write this list to be read on the internet in the future, 500 years from now.
Here’s Leonardo Da Vinci’s To-Do List
●[Hesapla] Measuring Milan and its neighborhoods
●[Bul] The book about Milan and its churches, which should be in the bookstore on the road to Cordusio
●[Keşfet] Measuring Corte Vecchio (courtyard of the Duke’s palace)
●[Keşfet] The dimensions of the palace [Dük’ün sarayı]
● Find an arithmetic master to show you how to square a triangle.
● Find Messer Fazio (a professor of medicine and law in Pavia) to teach proportion.
● Go to the Brera Friar to show him De Ponderibus (a text on mechanics).
● Talk to the bomber Giannino. Which tower in Ferrara is walled with no peepholes (No one understood what Leonardo was saying here)
● Ask Benedetto Potinati, a Florentine merchant, what it means to go on ice in Flanders
● Draw Milan
● Ask Master Antonio how the mortars are positioned on the bastions, day or night.
● [Review] Mastro Giannetto’s crossbow
● Find a mechanic specializing in hydraulics and ask them to tell you how to fix the lock, chute and mill Lombard style
● Ask the master Giovanni Francese to give you the measurements of the sun as promised.
● Try to find the mathematician Vitolone in the Pavia Library. (author of a text about optics)
From these items, you can feel Da Vinci’s insatiable curiosity and intellectual restlessness. You can see how many people he is after who can teach him something to become an expert in many subjects. Mathematics, physics, astronomy… And who else would write a request like “Draw Milan” on their daily to-do list?
Later, to-do lists bearing the date of 1510 show us that Da Vinci’s interest in anatomy was increasing. Gorgeously shuffled drawings, bones and viscera, and tasks to complete along this line… Find a skull, identify a crocodile’s jaw and woodpecker’s tongues, evaluate a cadaver using your finger as a unit of measurement.
On the same page, Da Vinci lists what he considers most important for anatomical technical drawing. It is stated that the internal structure of the body and the functioning of the organs are especially important; It is obvious that you must have a strong stomach.