Passion For Art

>>>>>Leonardo da Vinci

Born on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, Italy, Leonardo da Vinci was the love child of a landowner and a peasant girl. Raised by his father, he began apprenticing at the age of 14 under the artist Verrocchio. Within six years, he was a master artist and began taking commissions from wealthy clients. His best-known works are two of the most famous paintings of all time, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. His scientific inquiries fill 13,000 pages, ranging from anatomy to war machines.

Humble Beginnings

Born out of wedlock, the love child of a respected notary and a young peasant woman, Leonardo da Vinci (b. April 15, 1452, in Vinci, Italy) was raised by his father, Ser Piero, and his stepmothers. At the age of 14, Leonardo began apprenticing with the artist Verrocchio. For six years, he learned a wide breadth of technical skills, including metalworking, leather arts, carpentry, drawing and sculpting. By the age of 20, he qualified as a master artist in the Guild of St. Luke and established his own workshop.

Florentine court records show that he was charged with and acquitted of sodomy at the age of 22, and for two years, his whereabouts went entirely undocumented.

Meteoric Rise

In 1482, Lorenzo de’ Medici, a man from a prominent Italian family, commissioned Leonardo to create a silver lyre and bring it to Ludovico il Moro, the Duke of Milan, as a gesture of peace. Leonardo did so and then wrote Ludovico a letter describing how his engineering and artistic talents would be of great service to Ludovico’s court. His letter successfully endeared him to Ludovico, and from 1482 until 1499, Leonardo was commissioned to work on a great many projects. It was during this time that he painted The Last Supper. Leonardo’s most well-known painting, arguably the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa, was a privately commissioned work and was completed sometime between 1505 and 1507.

Renaissance Man

Leonardo has been called a genius and the archetypal Renaissance man; his talents extended far beyond his artistic works. Like many leaders of Renaissance humanism, he did not see a divide between science and art. His observations and inventions were recorded in 13,000 pages of notes and drawings, including designs for flying machines (some 400 years before the Wright brothers’ first success), plant studies, war machinery, anatomy and architecture. His ideas were mainly theoretical explanations, laid out in exacting detail, but they were rarely experimental. His drawings of a fetus in utero, the heart and vascular system, sex organs, and other bone and muscular structures, are some of the first on human record. One of his last commissioned works was a mechanical lion that could walk and open its chest to reveal a bouquet of lilies. On May 2, 1519, Leonardo’s first assistant and perhaps his lover, Francesco Melzi, became the principal heir and executor of his estate.

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