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Leonardo da Vinci Biography, Paintings, Family, Early Life

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Leonardo da Vinci Biography, Paintings, Family, Early Life

Originally posted 2022-12-16 20:39:34.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Biography

Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, scientist, and inventor. He was born on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, Italy, and he died on May 2, 1519, in Amboise, Kingdom of France. His famous works include the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and The Vitruvian Man. His style and period are classified as High Renaissance in his biography.

Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, scientist, and inventor during the Italian Renaissance. He is widely regarded as one of the most talented and intelligent individuals in history. The term “Renaissance Man,” denoting someone proficient in many areas, was derived from Leonardo’s multifaceted talents and is used to describe individuals akin to Leonardo da Vinci.

Where was Leonardo da Vinci born? He was born in the town of Vinci, Italy, on April 15, 1452. Little is known about his childhood. His father was wealthy and had multiple wives. Around the age of 14, he became an apprentice to the renowned artist Verrocchio, where he learned various artistic skills, such as drawing and painting.

Leonardo the Artist: Leonardo da Vinci is revered as one of the greatest artists of all time. He excelled in painting, drawing, and sculpture, although many of his paintings no longer exist. He achieved fame during his lifetime due to his artistic prowess. Two of his most renowned and arguably best works are the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. His portrayal of the Mona Lisa is particularly extraordinary.

Leonardo often maintained journals documenting his artistic endeavors and studies across diverse subjects. Some of his drawings served as preliminary sketches for future paintings, while others leaned toward scientific sketches and anatomical studies. One notable drawing is the “Vitruvian Man,” depicting a figure with proportionate parts based on notes from the Roman architect Vitruvius.

Among his other notable drawings are designs for a flying machine and a self-portrait. Much of da Vinci’s sketches and writings were dedicated to scientific exploration and invention. His journals encompassed over 13,000 pages of observations on various subjects. His sketches encompassed war machines, helicopters, hang gliders, musical instruments, and various pumps. He displayed a keen interest in civil engineering, producing designs for a single-span bridge intended to divert the Arno River and movable barricades for city defense during attacks.

Leonardo da Vinci’s studies extended to human anatomy, with a focus on the arm. Most of his anatomical drawings revolved around the human skeleton, tendons, and muscles. He possessed comprehensive knowledge of human body parts, including the arms, heart, and other visceral organs.

However, his interests weren’t limited to human anatomy; Leonardo also exhibited a profound curiosity about animals, including horses, frogs, monkeys, and cows, among others.

Leonardo’s Profile Summary

Name: Leonardo da Vinci

Date of Birth: April 15, 1452

Place of birth: Vinci Italy

Died: May 2, 1519, in Amboise, Kingdom of France

Occupation: Artist, Scientist, and Inventor.

Leonardo da Vinci: Early Life and Training

Leonardo da Vinci lived from 1452-1519. He was born in Anchiano, Tuscany (now Italy), close to the town of Vinci which gave him the surname we now refer to him as today. During his season he was referred to as Leonardo or as “Il Florentine,” because he lived near Florence and was famous as an inventor, thinker, and artist.

Leonardo da Vinci’s father was a lawyer and notary, and his mother who was a peasant farmer was never married as a couple. He was the only child they had together. But they had a total of 17 other children with their other partners, which were Leonard’s step-siblings.

Leonardo’s parents never got married and his mother named Caterina got married to another man when Leonard was much younger and she started a new family. At age 5, he stayed in the estate in Vinci that was owned by his father’s family Ser Piero, a lawyer, and notary. Leonard’s uncle, who had a special likeness for nature that Leonard grew to share, also assisted in bringing him up.

Leonardo da Vinci: Early Career

Leonardo lacked formal education beyond the basics of reading, writing, and mathematics. However, his artistic aptitude was recognized by his father, who, when Leonardo was 15, arranged for him to apprentice under the renowned sculptor and painter Andrea del Verrocchio in Florence. Over nearly a decade, Leonardo honed his skills in painting and sculpting while also receiving training in mechanical arts. At the age of 20, in 1472, he gained membership in the Painters’ Guild of Florence. Despite this, he continued to work under Verrocchio until achieving proficiency as a student by 1478. Around 1482, he embarked on his first accepted artwork, “The Adoration of the Magi,” commissioned for the San Donato monastery in Scopeto, Florence.

However, he never completed that piece, as he soon moved to Milan to work for the ruling Sforza clan. There, he held roles as an architect, painter, engineer, designer of courtly events, and notably, a sculptor. The Sforza family entrusted Leonardo with the creation of a grand 16-foot-tall bronze equestrian statue to honor their dynasty’s founder, Francesco Sforza. Leonardo’s progress on this project was inconsistent, spanning about 12 years, and by 1493, a clay model of the statue was prepared and put on display. The emergence of an impending war led to a change in plans, as the bronze earmarked for the sculpture was repurposed for cannons. Unfortunately, the clay model was destroyed during the conflict that ensued after the ruling Sforza duke was deposed from power in 1499.

Leonardo da Vinci: ‘The Last Supper and ‘Mona Lisa’

Though only a relatively small number of Leonardo’s paintings and sculptures have endured, this is partly due to his relatively limited output. However, two of his surviving works stand as some of the world’s most renowned and revered paintings.

The first of these is “The Last Supper,” which he crafted during his residence in Milan from approximately 1495 to 1498. Executed in tempera and oil on plaster, “The Last Supper” was commissioned for the refectory of the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in the city. Also referred to as “The Cenacle,” this masterpiece spans about 15 by 29 feet and remains as his sole surviving mural. It captures the moment of the “Passover dinner,” where Jesus Christ addresses his disciples with the words, “One of you shall betray me.” Notable in the painting are the emotive facial expressions and body language of each Apostle. It adeptly illustrates Jesus’ connection with his disciples while also setting him apart, a feature that has left a lasting impression on generations of painters.

In 1499, when the French attacked Milan and the Sforza family fled, Leonardo departed as well. He likely first headed to Venice and subsequently to Florence. During his time in Florence, he produced a series of portraits, including “La Gioconda,” a 21-by-31-inch masterpiece now universally recognized as the “Mona Lisa.” Created between 1503 and 1506, the enigmatic slight smile of the woman in the painting continues to spark intrigue. While she has long been associated with Mona Lisa Gherardini, a courtesan, recent scholarship suggests that she might actually be Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of Florentine merchant Francisco del Giocondo. This iconic portrait, the sole surviving Leonardo portrait from that period, is now housed at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, drawing countless visitors each year.

In 1506, Leonardo returned to Milan, accompanied by a group of students and followers, including the young aristocrat Francesco Melzi, who eventually became Leonardo’s closest companion until his passing. Interestingly, the conqueror of Duke Ludovico Sforza, Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, granted Leonardo approval to create an equestrian-statue tomb for himself. Regrettably, this project also remained unfinished due to Trivulzio’s alterations to the original plans. Following seven years in Milan, Leonardo spent an additional three years in Rome after the city’s political turmoil made Milan an inhospitable place for him.

Philosophy of Interconnectedness

Leonardo’s interests extended far beyond fine art. He delved into mechanics, anatomy, nature, physics, weaponry, and architecture. He frequently crafted precise and functional designs for machines like helicopters, bicycles, submarines, and military tanks, even though their realization would take years. He once wrote to Sigmund Freud, comparing himself to someone who had awakened prematurely in the darkness while others still slumbered.

Various threads can be seen weaving together Leonardo’s seemingly disparate interests, particularly his conviction that sight was humanity’s most crucial sense. He believed that “saper vedere” (“knowing how to see”) was integral to fully experiencing all aspects of life. He perceived science and art as complementary rather than distinct disciplines, positing that ideas from one realm could and should enlighten the other.

Perhaps due to his diverse range of interests, Leonardo left a number of his paintings and projects unfinished. He dedicated extensive time to immersing himself in nature, experimenting with scientific principles, dissecting both human and animal bodies, and contemplating and documenting his observations. In the early 1490s, he began filling notebooks with content related to four overarching themes: painting, human anatomy, mechanics, and architecture. These notebooks contain thousands of meticulously drawn illustrations and extensively written commentary, some of which, due to his left-handed “mirror script,” were indecipherable to others.

These notebooks, often referred to as Leonardo’s manuscripts and “codices,” are now housed in museum collections, having been scattered after his passing. For instance, the Codex Atlanticus encompasses plans for a 65-foot mechanical bat, essentially a flying machine inspired by bat physiology and principles of aeronautics and physics. Other notebooks contain his anatomical studies of the human skeleton, encompassing the brain, muscles, and reproductive and digestive systems, contributing significantly to a broader understanding of the human body.

Despite not being published during the 1500s, Leonardo’s notebooks had a limited impact on scientific progress during the Renaissance period.

Marriage and Relationship

Leonardo never got married, but he had a lot of close relationships with other artists and colleagues in the profession including his assistants.

Leonardo da Vinci: Later Years

Leonardo left Italy in 1516 when French ruler Francis kindly honored him with the title of “Premier Painter and Engineer and Architect to the King,” which allowed him to paint and draw at his convenience when he was living in a country manor house, the Château of Cloux near Amboise in France. Although accompanied by Melzi, to whom he would leave his estate, the bitter tone in drafts of some of his correspondence from this period revealed that Leonardo’s last years may not have been a very pleasant one. (Melzi would go on to marry and have a son, whose heirs, upon his death, sold da Vinci’s estate.)

Leonardo Da Vinci died at Cloux (now Clos-Lucé) in 1519 at age 67. He was laid to rest in the palace church of Saint-Florentin. The French Revolution almost demolished the church, and its remains were destroyed in the early 1800s, making it difficult to identify Leonardo da Vinci’s particular grave site.

Fun Facts about Leonardo da Vinci

The term Renaissance Man means a person who is good at what he/she does. Leonardo is known to be the greatest Renaissance man. Some persons claimed he invented the bicycle. He was reasonable and used a scientific approach when investigating a subject. His Vitruvian man is on the Italian Euro. About 15 of his paintings are still available. The Mona Lisa is also called “La Giaconda” meaning the laughing one. Leonardo was one artist who was very popular during his time for his paintings while he was still alive. But people have to realize presently the great artist he was.

Ten things you didn’t Know about Leonardo da Vinci

1. He believed in physiognomy.

2. He was persecuted.

3. He was left-handed.

4. He was born out of wedlock.

5. He didn’t receive a formal education.

6. He was a vegetarian.

7. He was a late starter.

8. He was not a prolific painter.

9. He believed in physiognomy.

10. He was persecuted.

11. He was left-handed.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Age

Leonardo da Vinci is no longer alive, but if this legendary artist were still living, his age would be over 200 years old. He wasn’t born in the same century as us; he was born in an entirely different century.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Height

This Italian historian’s exact height and weight are not found on the internet so this means this information is invalid

Leonardo da Vinci’s Net Worth

Leonardo is way gone although his artworks still exist. His worth is not currently but his artworks still have a lot of worth in the market.

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