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The Life of Leonardo Da Vinci

Updated on June 13, 2012

Famous Artist but so much more

Leonardo Da Vinci is known for his masterpiece artworks. Everyone has heard of The Mona Lisa or The Last Supper. However, not many know other details of Da Vinci's life. Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452 to parents that were not married. Leonardo Da Vinci was raised by his father, but his father died at an early age and his godfather had to raise him. At only 15 years of age he had already mastered the fine art skills needed to get him to a renowned workshop in Florence called Andrea del Verrocchio.

This particular workshop was named after a famous sculptor, painter, and goldsmith. It is actually quite funny because Andrea del Verrocchio was commissioned to do a painting that is called The Baptistism of Christ. Guess who assisted Andrea del Verrocchio? That is right, Leonardo Da Vinci. He had the honor to assist Andrea del Verrocchio with the painting. He was given the portion of the work with the kneeling angel on it. The angel that Da Vinci painted was so good that it overshadowed Andrea's work.

Now that is really something. It is said that Andrea del Verrocchio eventually gave up his career as a painter simply because he was embarrassed his student was a better painter than he was. The time he spent at the workshop is considered the first Florentine period. He remained at Andrea del Verrocchio until he was around 25 years of age. In 1472 Da Vinci was accepted into the painter's guilt of Florence. This was quite the accomplishment.

Da Vinci stayed in Florence until around 1481. However, in 1481 he was accused of committing sodomy and during that time was working on some commission work. Da Vinci abandoned the artwork and it is believed that he was so humiliated that it caused him to move. In 1482 he moved into Milan and stayed there for about 17 years. He was hired by the Ludovico Sforza as the painter and engineer of the duke. During those years he also was a sculptor and architect. This man was busy! After his careers with the duke ended he completed at least six known works during the first Milanese period. One that happen to be the monumental The Last Supper.

Da Vinci decided to leave Milan around 1500 or so. He went back to Florence and then entered the service. In 1503 he again went to Florence and this time period is the second florentine period. During this time at Florence this time he created the painting The Mona Lisa. This painting was for a wealthy merchant that wanted a painting of his wife. This was between 1503-1506. This painting is truly a mystery because many scholars do not believe the story about this merchant and his desire to have a painting of his wife.

After this painting is when Da Vinci decided to leave Florence. He went back to Milan (the second Milanese period) and worked for the french governor of Milan. He stayed there until around 1513 when the french were expelled from Milan. So, Da Vinci went to Rome where his friend lived and stayed in Rome for about 3 years. Around 1516, King Francis requested Leonardo Da Vinci to join his service. He left his home in Italy and went to France where got the title "First painter, architect, and engineer to the King". In 1519, Leonardo Da Vinci died at the age of 67.

He has left quite a legacy and is known as the "The Renaissance Master". Today his paintings (copies) are everywhere! When you look at paintings today you see all different styles of artwork. Maybe you have seen 3D artwork and wondered how someone can make a painting can be so detailed to have such depth. Well, Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the first artists to master this art form. The "vanishing point" is the name of this 2D/3D style of art. He did this by drawing lines first on his artwork. He used a scientific approach with these paintings.

You may wonder why he had such a scientific approach and it is because he knew more than just how to paint. If you research Da Vinci, you will find he was all i said above and more. He was also a sculptor, inventor, and scientist. Today many know about his work called The Vitruvian Man. It was a drawing that he did around 1492. It is the proportions of a male using geometry. It implied that the proportions of a man was the classical way to proportion architecture. He believed that it was analogy for the working of the entire universe.

As you can see he was a great thinker and had many theories. He is one of my favorite artist and I admire his work greatly. Hope you enjoyed a little history and information about the beloved Da Vinci. Peace, love, and blessings!


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