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leonardo da vinci is known for


leonardo da vinci is known for

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Italian painter

Leonardo da Vinci, (Italian: “Leonardo from Vinci”) (born April 15, 1452, Anchiano, near Vinci, Republic of Florence [Italy]—died May 2, 1519, Cloux [now Clos-Lucé], France),

Italian painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect,

and engineer whose skill and intelligence,

perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal.

His Last Supper (1495–98) and Mona Lisa (c. 1503–19) are among the most widely popular and influential paintings of the Renaissance.

His notebooks reveal a spirit of scientific inquiry and a mechanical inventiveness that were centuries ahead of their time.


The unique fame that Leonardo enjoyed in his lifetime

The unique fame that Leonardo enjoyed in his lifetime and that, filtered by historical criticism,

has remained undimmed to the present day rests largely on his unlimited desire for knowledge,

which guided all his thinking and behaviour.

An artist by disposition and endowment, he considered his eyes to be his main avenue to knowledge;

to Leonardo, sight was man’s highest sense because it alone conveyed the facts of experience immediately,

correctly, and with certainty.

Hence, every phenomenon perceived became an object of knowledge,

and saper vedere (“knowing how to see”) became the great theme of his studies. He applied his creativity to every realm in which

graphic representation is used:

he was a painter, sculptor, architect, and engineer. But he went even beyond that.

He used his superb intellect, unusual powers of observation, and mastery of the art of drawing to study nature itself, a line of inquiry that allowed his dual pursuits of art and science to flourish.


Life and works

Early period: Florence


Leonardo’s parents were unmarried at the time of his birth. His father, Ser Piero,

was a Florentine notary and landlord,

and his mother, Caterina, was a young peasant woman who shortly thereafter married an artisan.

Leonardo grew up on his father’s family’s estate,

where he was treated as a “legitimate” son and received the usual elementary

education of that day:

reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Leonardo did not seriously study Latin, the key language of traditional learning,

until much later, when he acquired a working knowledge of it on his own.

He also did not apply himself to higher mathematics—advanced geometry and arithmetic—until he was 30 years old, when he began to study it with diligent tenacity.
Leonardo’s artistic inclinations must have appeared early.

When he was about 15, his father,

who enjoyed a high reputation in the Florence community, apprenticed him to artist Andrea del Verrocchio.

In Verrocchio’s renowned workshop Leonardo received a multifaceted training that included painting and sculpture as well as the technical-mechanical arts.

He also worked in the next-door workshop of artist Antonio Pollaiuolo.

In 1472 Leonardo was accepted into the painters’ guild of Florence, but he remained in his teacher’s workshop for five more years,

after which time he worked independently in Florence until 1481. There are a great many superb extant pen and pencil drawings from this period, including many technical sketches—for example, pumps,

military weapons, mechanical apparatus—that offer evidence of Leonardo’s interest in and knowledge of technical matters even at the outset of his career.

First Milanese period (1482–99)

In 1482 Leonardo moved to Milan to work in the service of the city’s duke—a surprising step when one realizes that the 30-year-old artist had just received his first substantial commissions from his native city of Florence:

the unfinished panel painting Adoration of the Magi for the monastery of San Donato a Scopeto and an altar painting for the St.

Bernard Chapel in the Palazzo della Signoria,

which was never begun. That he gave up both projects seems to indicate that he had deeper reasons for leaving Florence.

It may have been that the rather sophisticated spirit of Neoplatonism prevailing in the Florence of the Medici went against the grain of Leonardo’s experience-oriented mind and that the more strict,

academic atmosphere of Milan attracted him.

Moreover, he was no doubt enticed by Duke Ludovico Sforza’s brilliant court and the meaningful projects awaiting him there.

Leonardo spent 17 years in Milan

Leonardo spent 17 years in Milan,

until Ludovico’s fall from power in 1499.

He was listed in the register of the royal household as pictor et ingeniarius ducalis (“painter and engineer of the duke”).

Leonardo’s gracious but reserved personality and elegant bearing were well-received in court circles.

Highly esteemed,

fortifications, and military matters, and he served as a hydraulic and mechanical engineer.

As he would throughout his life,

Leonardo set boundless goals for himself;


leonardo da vinci is known for
leonardo da vinci is known for

As a painter

As a painter, Leonardo completed six works in the 17 years in Milan.

(According to contemporary sources,

Leonardo was commissioned to create three more pictures,

but these works have since disappeared or were never done.)

From about 1483 to 1486,

he worked on the altar painting The Virgin of the Rocks, a project that led to 10 years of litigation between the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception, which commissioned it,

and Leonardo; for uncertain purposes,

this legal dispute led Leonardo to create another version of the work in about 1508.

During this first Milanese period he also made one of his most famous works,

the monumental wall painting Last Supper (1495–98) in the refectory of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie (for more analysis of this work,

see below Last Supper).

Also of note is the decorative ceiling painting (1498) he made for the Sala delle Asse in the Milan Castello Sforzesco.

leonardo da vinci is known for
leonardo da vinci is known for

During this period Leonardo worked on a grandiose sculptural project(leonardo da vinci is known for)

During this period Leonardo worked on a grandiose sculptural project that seems to have been the real reason he was invited to Milan:

a monumental equestrian statue in bronze to be erected in honour of Francesco Sforza, the founder of the Sforza dynasty.

Leonardo devoted 12 years—with interruptions—to this task.

Ludovico’s fall in 1499 sealed the fate of this abortive undertaking,

which was perhaps the grandest concept of a monument in the 15th century.

The ensuing war left the clay model a heap of ruins.
As a master artist,

Leonardo maintained an extensive workshop in Milan, employing apprentices and students.

Among Leonardo’s pupils at this time were Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, Ambrogio de Predis, Bernardino de’ Conti,

Francesco Napoletano, Andrea Solari, Marco d’Oggiono, and Salai. The role of most of these associates is unclear,

leading to the question of Leonardo’s so-called apocryphal works, on which the master collaborated with his assistants.

Scholars have been unable to agree in their attributions of these works.

leonardo da vinci is known for
leonardo da vinci is known for

Last years (1513–19) of Leonardo da Vinci(leonardo da vinci is known for)


In 1513 political events—the temporary expulsion of the French from Milan—caused the now 60-year-old Leonardo to move again. At the end of the year,

he went to Rome, accompanied by his pupils Melzi and Salai as well as by two studio assistants, hoping to find employment there through his patron Giuliano de’ Medici,

brother of the new pope, Leo X.

Giuliano gave him a suite of rooms in his residence,

the Belvedere, in the Vatican. He also gave Leonardo a considerable monthly stipend,

but no large commissions followed. For three years Leonardo remained in Rome at a time of great artistic activity:

Donato Bramante was building St.

Peter’s, Raphael was painting the last rooms of the pope’s new apartments,

Michelangelo was struggling to complete the tomb of Pope Julius II,

and many younger artists, such as Timoteo Viti and Sodoma, were also active.

Drafts of embittered letters betray the disappointment of the aging master,

who kept a low profile while he worked in his studio on mathematical studies and technical experiments or surveyed ancient monuments as he strolled through the city.

Leonardo seems to have spent time with Bramante,

but the latter died in 1514, and there is no record of Leonardo’s relations with any other artists in Rome.

A magnificently executed map of the Pontine Marshes suggests that Leonardo was at least a consultant for a reclamation project that Giuliano de’ Medici ordered in 1514.

leonardo da vinci is known for
leonardo da vinci is known for


Perhaps stifled by this scene(leonardo da vinci is known for)

Perhaps stifled by this scene,

at age 65 Leonardo accepted the invitation of the young King Francis I to enter his service in France.

At the end of 1516 he left Italy forever,

together with Melzi, his most devoted pupil.

Leonardo spent the last three years of his life in the small residence of Cloux (later called Clos-Lucé),

near the king’s summer palace at Amboise on the Loire.

He proudly bore the title Premier peintre, architecte et méchanicien du Roi (“First painter, architect, and engineer to the King”).

Leonardo still made sketches for court festivals, but the king treated him in every respect as an honoured guest and allowed him freedom of action.

Decades later,

Francis I talked with the sculptor Benvenuto Cellini about Leonardo in terms of the utmost admiration and esteem.

For the king, Leonardo drew up plans for the palace and garden of Romorantin,

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