- Born: Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci – April 15, 1452 (Vinci, Republic of Florence (present-day Italy))
- Died: May 2, 1519 (aged 67)
- Notable works:
- Mona Lisa
- The Last Supper
- The Vitruvian Man
- Lady with an Ermine
Leonardo da Vinci was a polymath (person who has expertise that span many different subject areas). He was a painter, musician, engineer, geologist, sculptor, inventor, architect, writer to name a few.
The Early Years
Da Vinci (Leonardo) was born on the 15th day of April 1452 just a few miles from the town of Tuscan. He was the illegal son to a local legal notary, these days we refer to them as lawyers. There are few details of Da Vinci’s early years. After living with his mother for a time the rest of his early years were spent living in his father’s household where he received an informal education in Latin, geometry and mathematics.
In 1466, when he was 14, he began his artist training with Andrea di Cione (also known as Verrocchio) in Florence and by 1472 he was qualified as a master in the Guild of St Luke or a qualified artist.
It was not until 1482 when he relocated to the Milan in order for him to work as an engineer, a painter, architect and sculptor for the ruling family of Sforza until 1499. During this time he drew/painted 3 of his famous works “The Last Supper,” “The Vitruvian Man,” “Lady with an Ermine”
He resided in Milan up to the time the city was attacked in 1499 by the French and that’s when the Sforza family was forced to flee. Over the next three years he spent time in Florence, Venice and then Cesena. In 1503 he moved back to Florence, during his stay in Florence, Leonardo da Vinci painted numerous portraits, even though the only one surviving is the renowned ‘Mona Lisa’ (1503 to 1506)
The accomplishments, achievements and influence on our history
It is well known that Da Vinci was wealthy in skills of an architect, engineer, musician, inventor, geology and scientist. He is confirmed to have sketched the first parachute, first aero-plane, first helicopter, first tank, swinging bridge, first repeating rifle, first motor car and first paddle boat among others. He also designed machines of war.
He was also one of the very talented artists. Hence, most of his paintings and pictures are in museums and art galleries. He was also recognized in geology and his study of many different things, such as math, writing and reading backwards and the full scope of his accomplishments would fill an encyclopaedia.
His notable achievement can be confirmed through categories of art, military engineering, invention and science. It should be remembered that, Leonardo da Vinci as an artist was able to transformed the direction of art by becoming the first Western artist to make landscape the prime subject of a painting.
He also pioneered the application of perspective and the use of oil paints, sfumato (also referred to Leonardo’s Smoke), unadorned dress and landscape backgrounds which are often quite dramatic among other influential and innovative methods.
Sculptor and an Architect
He was also famous as a sculptor and an architect. The majority of his architectural work clearly focused on general principles of design. Leonardo’s science is best appreciated for its intrinsic value and as an expression of his quest for pure truth; several scholars agree that he can be credited with important contributions to numerous disciplines.
In the field of Anatomy he pioneered the discipline of modern comparative anatomy, becoming one of the first person/scientist to draw parts of the body in cross section manner and one of the first to make ventricles of the heart and cast of the brain.
In addition, Da Vinci the inventor made plans for a flying machine, a parachute, a helicopter and many other marvels as well as the extendable ladder currently used by fire departments today, a machine for cutting threads in screws, the three-speed gear shift , the bicycle, hydraulic jacks, an adjustable monkey wrench a snorkel, the world’s first revolving stage, a horizontal waterwheel, locks for a canal system , folding furniture, a number of automated musical instruments, an olive press, a therapeutic armchair, a water-powered alarm clock and a crane for clearing ditches of which all have greatly influenced our history.
His other designs that have influenced our history are inventing things like the tank, helicopter, parachute and many other things.
Leonardo Da Vinci left Italy in the year 1516, after being offered a chance by the French ruler Francis to draw and paint at his own palace while living at Château of Cloux- near Aboise in France. It was there where da Vinci spent barely three years before his death on the 2nd day of May, 1519. The cause of his death is unknown, though a number of scientists believe that he died from old age (natural) since him as 67 years old, a very advanced age for that era.
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