Leonardo daVinci and finding darkness in light

darkness and lightI found this article through the , and it brought up an interesting point for me.

As with photography and art, light and shadow can define an object, area, or even a planet. Placing yourself in a specific location can cause an object to appear different, thus your perspective of an object that’s unchanging, becomes fluid.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s perspective, although appropriately geared more towards an artistic sense, heavily relied on the Earth and the planets themselves. His works, more importantly his paintings, always reflected the correct light and shading of the background to produce the perfect outcome. Shading and light were the sources that drove Da Vinci to look to the Moon, thus prompting him to study the Moon in its crescent stage.

I really like this idea that if you place yourself in a different location so you have a different perspective of an object, your perspective of what is dark and what is light changes too.

Our perspective on our life works in exactly the same way.  We tend to think of certain experiences as being dark, or “bad.”  But if we shift our position just a bit to observe our life from a different perspective, we begin to see the shades of grey and perhaps even the light that shines from within those “bad” experiences.

DaVinci was trying to find the souce of the Moon’s light.  According to this article,

“earthshine is actually the Moon’s night side reflected from the surface of the Earth, and to be more specific, the clouds are creating the reflection. When we observe a crescent moon, we can clearly see a type of grayish luminosity. No one could really explain what this glow was until Leonardo Da Vinci looked up at the moon and placed himself on the surface.

In the same way, if we remove ourselves from our own perspective and look at our situations from a different perspective, perhaps we too will see the glow that emanates from the clouds surrounding us.

By | 2010-05-19T05:35:02+00:00 May 19th, 2010|Life, Science|2 Comments


  1. Charles May 19, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Ah, Leonardo was the master of observation. I studied him closely when I was in art school. It was said that Leonardo’s observational powers were so acute, he could draw something from memory accurately that was too fast for most to even see. For example, he is famous for his “water studies” that drew fast-moving water currents so accurately, they would only be surpassed after hundreds of years and the development of the modern science of Hydrodynamics.

    But my favorite observation by Leonardo was “atmospheric perspective.” He was the first artist to observe and understand why distant objects seemed less distinct, because they were being seen through a greater quantity of air. Leonardo was the first to understand the effect of invisible air on visible objects.

    • lokasiwisata.info May 20, 2010 at 6:36 am

      Thanks for that Charles. His wisdom was nearly superhuman, and covered such a vast array of subjects.

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