58 Intelligent Quotes from Leonardo da Vinci

Last updated on Apr 13th, 2024

58 Intelligent Quotes from Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci (born April 15, 1452, Anchiano, near Vinci, Italy – died May 2, 1519, Clos-Lucé, France) was an Italian polymath, leading artist, intellectual of the Italian Renaissance, architect, mathematician, inventor, and writer.

His most famous works include Ginevra de’ Benci, The Virgin of the Rocks, Lady with an Ermine, The Vitruvian Man, The Last Supper, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and Mona Lisa.

Key Takeaways

  • He was an illegitimate child of a wealthy notary and a peasant girl.
  • Leonardo da Vinci was mainly self-educated. He received no formal education beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic.
  • Leonardo wrote in reverse, from right to left.
  • Leonardo da Vinci is best known for his paintings, The Last Supper and Mona Lisa.
  • Salvator Mundi, a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, became the most expensive ever after being sold for $450 million at a 2017 Christie’s auction.
Table of Contents
  1. Leonardo da Vinci Famous Quotes
  2. Leonardo da Vinci Quotes about Art
  3. Leonardo da Vinci Quotes about Life
  4. Leonardo da Vinci Quotes about Learning
  5. Leonardo da Vinci Quotes about Love
  6. Leonardo da Vinci Quotes on Fear
  7. Leonardo da Vinci Quotes on Truth
  8. Wise Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
  9. Misattributed Leonardo da Vinci Quotes

Leonardo da Vinci Famous Quotes

The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
1

The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 295

The tears come from the heart and not from the brain. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
2

The tears come from the heart and not from the brain.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 117

You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
3

You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 297

Where there is most feeling, there is the greatest martyrdom - a great martyr. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
4

Where there is most feeling, there is the greatest martyrdom – a great martyr.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 297

Any one who in discussion relies upon authority uses, not his understanding, but rather his memory. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
5

Any one who in discussion relies upon authority uses, not his understanding, but rather his memory.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 290

Necessity is the mistress and guide of nature. Necessity is the theme and the inventress, the eternal curb and law of nature. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
6

Necessity is the mistress and guide of nature. Necessity is the theme and the inventress, the eternal curb and law of nature.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 285

Every action needs to be prompted by a motive. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
7

Every action needs to be prompted by a motive.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 287

The Common Sense, is that which judges of things offered to it by the other senses. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
8

The Common Sense, is that which judges of things offered to it by the other senses.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 125

It's easier to resist at the beginning than at the end. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
9

It’s easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (MacCurdy, ed. 1938), Volume I, Page 37

Experience never errs; it is only your judgments that err by promising themselves effects such as are not caused by your experiments. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
10

Experience never errs; it is only your judgments that err by promising themselves effects such as are not caused by your experiments.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 282

Science is the captain, and practice the soldiers. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
11

Science is the captain, and practice the soldiers.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 290

He who does not punish evil commands that it be done. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
12

He who does not punish evil commands that it be done.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 297

Constancy does not begin, but is that which perseveres. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
13

Constancy does not begin, but is that which perseveres.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume I, Page 358

Reprove your friend in secret and praise him openly. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
14

Reprove your friend in secret and praise him openly.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 297

The memory of benefits is a frail defence against ingratitude. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
15

The memory of benefits is a frail defence against ingratitude.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 297

Medicine is the restoration of discordant elements; sickness is the discord of the elements infused into the living body. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
16

Medicine is the restoration of discordant elements; sickness is the discord of the elements infused into the living body.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 133

Each man is always in the middle of the surface of the earth and under the zenith of his own hemisphere, and over the centre of the earth. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
17

Each man is always in the middle of the surface of the earth and under the zenith of his own hemisphere, and over the centre of the earth.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 139

Our body is dependent on heaven and heaven on the Spirit. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
18

Our body is dependent on heaven and heaven on the Spirit.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 286

That which has no limitations, has no form. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
19

That which has no limitations, has no form.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume I, Page 28

Nature is full of infinite causes that have never occurred in experience. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
20

Nature is full of infinite causes that have never occurred in experience.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 288

The boundaries of bodies are the least of all things. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
21

The boundaries of bodies are the least of all things.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume I, Page 29

The water you touch in a river the last of that which has passed, and the first of that which comes is coming. Thus it is with time present. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
22

The water you touch in a river the last of that which has passed, and the first of that which comes is coming. Thus it is with time present.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 294

The limiting surface of one thing is the beginning of another. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
23

The limiting surface of one thing is the beginning of another.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume I, Page 28

Water is the driver of nature. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
24

Water is the driver of nature.Thoughts on Art and Life by Leonardo da Vinci (Maurice Baring, ed. 1906), Page 164

The spirit desires to remain with its body, because, without the organic instruments of that body, it can neither act, nor feel anything. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
25

The spirit desires to remain with its body, because, without the organic instruments of that body, it can neither act, nor feel anything.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 287

Leonardo da Vinci Quotes about Art

Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams with the imagination being awake? - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
26

Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams with the imagination being awake?The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 287

Shadow is the diminution alike of light and of darkness, and stands between darkness and light. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
27

Shadow is the diminution alike of light and of darkness, and stands between darkness and light.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume I, Page 73

The painter who draws merely by practice and by eye, without any reason, is like a mirror which copies every thing placed in front of it without being conscious of their existence. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
28

The painter who draws merely by practice and by eye, without any reason, is like a mirror which copies every thing placed in front of it without being conscious of their existence.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume I, Page 18

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The eye - which sees all objects reversed - retains the images for some time. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
29

The eye – which sees all objects reversed – retains the images for some time.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume I, Page 24

What is fair in men, passes away, but not so in art. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
30

What is fair in men, passes away, but not so in art.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume I, Page 326

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 Quotes
31

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.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume I, Page 57

The eye which turns from a white object in the light of the sun and goes into a less fully lighted place will see everything as dark. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
32

The eye which turns from a white object in the light of the sun and goes into a less fully lighted place will see everything as dark.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume I, Page 23

Leonardo da Vinci Quotes about Life

As a day well spent procures a happy sleep, so a life well employed procures a happy death. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
33

As a day well spent procures a happy sleep, so a life well employed procures a happy death.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 293

While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
34

While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (MacCurdy, ed. 1938), Volume I,Page 71

Our life is made by the death of others. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
35

Our life is made by the death of others.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 131

Just as courage imperils life, fear protects it. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
36

Just as courage imperils life, fear protects it.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 298

The motive power is the cause of all life. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
37

The motive power is the cause of all life.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 286

Leonardo da Vinci Quotes about Learning

All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
38

All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 288

Just as iron rusts unless it is used, and water putrifies or, in cold, turns to ice, so our intellect spoils unless it is kept in use. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
39

Just as iron rusts unless it is used, and water putrifies or, in cold, turns to ice, so our intellect spoils unless it is kept in use.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 294

He is a poor disciple who does not excel his master. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
40

He is a poor disciple who does not excel his master.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume I, Page 250

All knowledge which ends in words will die as quickly as it came to life, with the exception of the written word: which is its mechanical part. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
41

All knowledge which ends in words will die as quickly as it came to life, with the exception of the written word: which is its mechanical part.Thoughts on Art and Life by Leonardo da Vinci (Maurice Baring, ed. 1906), Page 5

Intellectual passion drives out sensuality. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
42

Intellectual passion drives out sensuality.The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (MacCurdy, ed. 1938), Volume I, Page 72

Just as food eaten without caring for it is turned into loathsome nourishment, so study without a taste for it spoils memory, by retaining nothing which it has taken in. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
43

Just as food eaten without caring for it is turned into loathsome nourishment, so study without a taste for it spoils memory, by retaining nothing which it has taken in.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 294

The knowledge of the past times and of the places of the earth is both an ornament and nutriment to the human mind. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
44

The knowledge of the past times and of the places of the earth is both an ornament and nutriment to the human mind.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 292

Learning acquired in youth arrests the evil of old age. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
45

Learning acquired in youth arrests the evil of old age.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 293

Leonardo da Vinci Quotes about Love

Great love is born of great knowledge of the thing that is loved, and if you do not know it, you can love it little or not at all. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
46

Great love is born of great knowledge of the thing that is loved, and if you do not know it, you can love it little or not at all.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, Pedretti (ed. 1977), Volume II, Page 242

Love shows itself more in adversity than in prosperity; as light does, which shines most where the place is darkest. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
47

Love shows itself more in adversity than in prosperity; as light does, which shines most where the place is darkest.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 315

Leonardo da Vinci Quotes on Fear

He who possesses most must be most afraid of loss. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
48

He who possesses most must be most afraid of loss.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 296

Nothing is so much to be feared as Evil Report. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
49

Nothing is so much to be feared as Evil Report.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume I, Page 359

Fear arises sooner than any thing else. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
50

Fear arises sooner than any thing else.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 298

Leonardo da Vinci Quotes on Truth

Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
51

Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 292

The truth of things is the chief nutriment of superior intellects. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
52

The truth of things is the chief nutriment of superior intellects.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 293

Fire destroys falsehood, that is sophistry, and restores truth, driving out darkness. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
53

Fire destroys falsehood, that is sophistry, and restores truth, driving out darkness.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume I, Page 356

Truth was the only daughter of Time. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
54

Truth was the only daughter of Time.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 288

Wise Leonardo da Vinci Quotes

Wisdom is the daughter of experience. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
55

Wisdom is the daughter of experience.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 288

He who thinks little, errs much. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
56

He who thinks little, errs much.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 297

He who wishes to be rich in a day will be hanged in a year. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
57

He who wishes to be rich in a day will be hanged in a year.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 296

The grave will fall in upon him who digs it. - Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
58

The grave will fall in upon him who digs it.The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Richter, ed. 1883), Volume II, Page 297

Misattributed Leonardo da Vinci Quotes

1

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.John H. Secondari (More info)

2

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.Clare Boothe Luce, Leonard Thiessen (More info)