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In honor of Leonardo da Vinci’s 565th birthday today (he was born on April 15, 1452), I’m celebrating with 10 of my favorite quotes attributed to the maestro (yes, many of these can be found in my novel, Oil and Marble).

1: Art is never finished, only abandoned.

2: 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.

3: Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.

4: Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?

5: Men of lofty genius when they are doing the least work are most active.

6: In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time.

7: For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.

8: Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.

9: You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself.

10: Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation… even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.


There are many more great Leonardo quotes…
What’s your favorite?