Leonardo da Vinci (born April 15, 1452 – died May 2, 1519) – the greatest Italian artist of the High Renaissance, an unsurpassed master of fine art. The activities of Leonardo da Vinci were not limited to painting and architecture. He made a huge contribution to the development of world science and culture, was a brilliant inventor, a far-sighted scientist and an extraordinary thinker.
Leonardo da Vinci left to his descendants an extensive creative heritage. In addition to paintings and drawings, the handwritten diaries of the great genius are of great interest to researchers. They shock the reader with deep knowledge of the thinker in various fields of knowledge:
- anatomy and geometry;
- engineering and philosophy;
- musical subtleties and biology;
- hydraulics and geology;
- architecture and physics;
- graphics and culinary arts.
Biography of Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 on the outskirts of the town of Vinci, near Florence. He was born out of wedlock the son of a notary Piero Vinci and a simple peasant woman Katerina. The first 3 years of life the child lived with his mother. Then the father took the baby to him and took up the upbringing of the firstborn on his own. The father’s attempts to attract his son to the notarial profession were unsuccessful. Leonardo was absolutely not interested in the subtleties of jurisprudence. But the boy showed early talent for art.
In 1466, a 14-year-old teenager became the apprentice of the famous Florentine artist Andrea del Verocchio. Leonardo eagerly absorbed knowledge not only in the main specialty, but also studied the natural sciences. Already in 1473, the young painter was qualified as a master of arts. While still studying, Leonardo gained his first practical experience as an artist. The teacher instructed him to paint one of the angels for the painting “The Baptism of Christ.” The student brilliantly coped with the difficult task.
In 1476, Leonardo da Vinci opened a private art studio in Florence. And a couple of years later he created the first masterpiece – the painting “Madonna Benois”. On the denunciation of ill-wishers, the painter is accused of bestiality, but the trial ended in an acquittal. In the future, da Vinci carefully guarded his personal life from strangers. This has been the subject of much speculation. Unlike most other painters, Leonardo da Vinci was fond of not only art, but also the exact sciences. His talent as a mechanic and pyrotechnics was noticed by the ruler of Milan, Duke Lodovico Moro. Then the young man received an invitation to take the post of military engineer.
The Milan period of da Vinci’s work lasted 17 years.
This period was marked by the creation of several notable masterpieces:
paintings “Madonna in the rocks” and “Lady with an ermine”;
fresco painting “The Last Supper”;
many drawings, including images of the famous “Vitruvian Man”.
The master also conscientiously performed the duties of the organizer of court holidays. In 1499, da Vinci left for Florence and entered the service of Duke Cesare Borgia. It was here that the master created his main masterpiece – the painting “La Gioconda”. Although he spent most of his strength on the development of fortifications and combat vehicles.
Painting the painting “Mona Lisa” was the pinnacle of creativity of the great artist.
Having known the glory, da Vinci is gradually moving away from painting. Many of his later works remained unfinished with the exception of John the Baptist. In 1506 da Vinci returned to Milan and entered the service of the monarch. In 1512, he moved to Rome at the invitation of Pope Leo X. And in 1516 he retired to France, to the city of Amboise, where he lived in a luxurious castle of the French autocrat.
A few years before his death, the elderly genius had a stroke and could not move on his own. On May 2, 1519, exhausted by illnesses, Leonardo da Vinci died in a circle of close followers. His grave is still located inside the Amboise castle complex.