Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian Renaissance painter most popularly known for his fresco The Last Supper and his painting Mona Lisa, was also a sculptor, engineer, architect, inventor, scientist, and naturalist. Leonardo is also known for his dyslexia because he wrote his notes backward, from right to left, in a mirror image.
It should be noted, however, that Leonardo wrote this way by choice, not because he had dyslexia. He wrote in the normal direction when writing something intended for other people.
No one knows the true reason Leonardo used mirror writing, though several possibilities have been suggested:
- He was trying to make it harder for people to read his notes and steal his ideas.
- He was hiding his scientific ideas from the powerful Roman Catholic Church, whose teachings sometimes disagreed with what Leonardo observed.
- Writing left-handed from left to right was messy because the ink just put down would smear as his hand moved across it. Leonardo chose to write in reverse because it prevented smudging.