One of the main reasons people get an apprenticeship is to learn skills in a specific field to kickstart their career, whether that be skills specific to digital marketing, business administration or even accountancy skills. But apprenticeships are not a recent thing and the concept of being an apprentice has been around for a long time. In fact, all the way back to the 14th century.
Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most intelligent and influential humans to ever live. He was an expert in a huge number of areas, and was known as a polymath. Just to name a few, da Vinci specialised in painting, sculpting, architecture, science, maths, music, writing and engineering. A genius. How did he get started though? He was an apprentice.
Back in the 14th century, apprentices had masters that they learnt from. Da Vinci was no different, picking up his artistic and anatomy knowledge from Andrea del Verrocchio. Thanks to Andrea, da Vinci had the skills he needed to paint what is now one of, if not the most valuable painting in existence; ‘The Mona Lisa.’ It is a piece of work which is often cited as the most famous painting in the world. This was just one of his universally accepted paintings, others include ‘The Last Supper’ and several portraits.
Leonardo expressed a lot of his research and notes through drawings. Andrea demanded that his students developed deep knowledge in the subject of anatomy and physiology, something that da Vinci became quite the expert in. He studied a lot into muscle and bone structure, and depicted them in his drawings. Remember this was the 14th century, so not a lot of people really knew about the subject. An amazing thing. He even designed many inventions, including a flying machine, crossbow and parachute.
Many artists and historians have shown their admiration for the Italian, including French historian, Hippolyte Taine. He said, “There may not be in the world an example of another genius so universal, so incapable of fulfilment, so full of yearning for the infinite, so naturally refined, so far ahead of his own century and the following centuries.” A brilliant piece of praise.
Overall, Leonardo being an apprentice with Andrea gave him a great foundation to change the world. He produced the most famous painting in the world, helped design some of Italy’s famous architecture, and illustrated some amazing research way ahead of his time throughout his 67-year life. He went above and beyond and was extremely knowledgeable, using his skills he learned as an apprentice to draw up his famous research. Would he have been able to do all of this if not for Andrea and his apprenticeship? Who knows?