CPE :: Lesson 5



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Reading and writing

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ACTIVITY 20: You are going to read an article about Leonardo Da Vinci. For questions 1-5, choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think best fits according to the text. Then check the correct answers.


Scholars devoted to the life and accomplishments of the incredible Florentine, Leonardo Da Vinci, have attributed to him almost superhuman intellectual powers. His notebooks, recovered relatively recently, confirm that the esteem bestowed on him is by no means misplaced. They clearly enhance his reputation of being one of the most outstanding intellects of all time.
Because he gave the bulk of his time and energy to painting and sculpture Da Vinci is considered primarily an artist. He made a name for himself in a number of other fields as well, however. In addition to being an extraordinarily gifted painter and sculptor he was also a scientist, architect, engineer and philosopher. His notebooks disclose that he could have been equally successful in a number of other fields of endeavour too, had he wanted to. Among the many tasks that he set for himself was that of writing a textbook on each of the subjects he studied. Unfortunately for the world, this project never came to fruition.

Except in the field of art Leonardo worked very slowly; his scientific output was therefore minimal. What he did discover, though, proved that he was someone centuries ahead of his time. He designed a flying machine, a parachute, and a quick-firing gun. He also experimented in such things as optics, mechanics and hydraulics. His anatomical drawings place him among the top anatomists of the world. In astronomy he made a number of observations, one being that the earth was a planet like other planets. He anticipated Newton when he declared that a falling body increases its speed as the fall progresses.
All of his observations and experimentation were based on pure guesswork, but guesswork of a kind which, unrestrained by authority, was the result of completely free thought. Even a fool can make a lucky guess now and then but when successes follow one upon the other, as in the case of Da Vinci, something more than good fortune is involved. Down through the ages his versatility and creative power have marked him as a supreme example of Renaissance genius.



The notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci show that...


A.    he didn't live up to people's expectations of him.
B.    he was only an acclaimed artist.
C.    his reputation as a superior intellectual was justified.
  he wasted his talents.


He is thought of fundamentally as an artist because...


A.    he was so gifted.
B.    he devoted most of his time to painting and sculpture.
C.    he was unsuccessful in other pursuits.
  his textbooks prove this.


His productivity in the field of science was relatively...


A.    astonishing.
B.    revolutionary.
C.    small in amount.


Among other contributions he made to mankind was...


A.    the successful invention of an airplane.
B.    the development of photographic processes.
C.    some progress in the field of astronomy.
  the production of more advanced weapons.


His observations and experimentation were based on...


A.    speculation.
B.    sensitivity.
C.    authority.


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