Leonardo’s resumé

Worried that your resumé might not be up to the task? Well then, here’s some inspiration: even the legendary Leonardo Da Vinci had to put together a convincing resumé, to ensure his employability. At the tender age of 30, in the year 1482, he supposedly wrote this in a letter to the Duke of Milan, Ludovico il Moro:

“Most illustrious Lord, having now sufficiently seen and considered the proofs of all those who count themselves master and inventors of instruments of war, and finding that their invention and use of the said instruments does not differ in any respect from those in common practice, I am emboldened without prejudice to anyone else to put myself in communication with your Excellency, in order to acquaint you with my secrets, thereafter offering myself at your pleasure effectually to demonstrate at any convenient time all those matters which are in part briefly recorded below,

1. I have plans for bridges, very light and strong and suitable for carrying very easily(…)

2. When a place is besieged I know how to cut off water from the trenches, and how to construct an infinite number of (…) scaling ladders and other instruments(…)

3. If because of the height of the embankment, and the strength of the place of its site, it should be impossible to reduce it by bombardment, I know methods of destroying any citadel or fortress, even if it is built on rock.

4. I have plans for making a cannon, very convenient and easy of transport, with which to hurl small stones in the manner almost of hail (…)

5. And should it happen that the engagement is at sea, I have plans for construction many engines most suitable for attack or defense, and ships which can resist the fire of all the heaviest cannon, and powder and smoke.

6. Also I have ways of arriving at a certain fixed spot by caverns and secret winding passages made without any noise even though it may be necessary to pass underneath (…) a river.

7. Also I can make covered carts, safe and unassailable, which will enter the serried ranks of the enemy with artillery, and there is no company of men at arms so great as not to be broken by it. And behind these the infantry will be able to follow quite unharmed and without any opposition.

8. Also, if need shall arise, I can make cannons, mortars and light ordnance, of very beautiful and useful shapes, quite different from those in common use.

9. Where it is not possible to employ a cannon, I can supply catapults, mangonels, traps and other engines of wonderful efficacy not in general issue. In short, as the variety of circumstances shall necessitate, I can supply an infinite number of different engines of attack and defense.

10. In times of peace I believe that I can give you complete satisfaction and to the equal of any other in architecture and the construction of buildings both public and private, and in conducting water from one place to another.

11. Also, I can execute sculptures in marble, bronze, or clay and also I can do in painting whatever may be done, as well as any other, be he who he may.

12. Moreover, I would undertake the work of the bronze horse, which shall endure with immortal glory and eternal honor the auspicious memory of the Prince of your father and of the illustrious house of Sforza.

And if any of the above-named things seem to anyone to be impossible or not feasible, I am most ready to make the experiment in your park, or in whatever place may please your Excellency – to whom I comment myself with the utmost humility, etc.

Mind you, this was years before the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper or the Vitruvian Man. He apparently yet needed to prove himself…

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