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Leonardo Da Vinci

Updated on December 12, 2013

Leonardo Da Vinci.. The Renaissance man

Leonardo da Vinci was one of the greatest minds of all time. His paintings have become the most copied pieces in history. But it is not just his paintings which made him great. It was his ability to design and create things far ahead of his time. His drawings and sketches done in the later part of the 1400s included hang gliders and tanks. His imagination and foresight have never been equalled.

The Life of Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci Biography

Leonardo was born in the small town of Vinci, Italy which lies on the Arno River on April 15th 1452. His father, Piero da Vinci was a local notary and his mother Caterina was a peasant. Da Vinci's parents never married, and separated shortly after Leonardo's birth. After his parents separated Leonardo stayed with his father. His father married a young woman named Albiera, and his mother also married. Between them Leonardo was given 17 half brothers and sisters.

At the age of 14 Leonardo began his apprenticeship to Andrea del Verrocchio. Verrocchio was a renown goldsmith, painter and sculptor who worked in the court of Lorenzo de' Medici. During his apprenticeship Leonardo was exposed to many different skills and crafts. He was able to learn metallurgy, mechanics, carpentry, drafting in addition to the more traditional artist's skills of sculpting, modelling and painting.

After working as an apprentice for six years Leonardo qualified as a master in the Guild of St. Luke. The guild represented not only artists but doctors of medicine. By becoming a master Leonardo was then able to have his own workshop, which his father set up for him.

In 1482 Leonardo entered into the service of the Duke of Milan. Under the Duke, Leonardo's tasks included not only painting and sculpting but engineering, architecture and designing weaponry. During his time in Milan, Leonardo was also working on his anatomical studies. He had so many different interests and projects going on that he very rarely finished anything. He did however keep journals in which he meticulously recorded his studies for numerous inventions and ideas.

In 1499 the French invaded and the Duke fell from power. Leonardo and his entourage left Milan and headed for Venice. In Venice, Leonardo worked to design ways of defending the city from naval attacks.

In 1500 Leonardo returned to Florence. He set up his new workshop in the Monastery of Santissima Annuziata, and Leonardo began hunting for a new patron. He entered into the service of Pope Alexander VI's son, Cesare Borgia. With Casare, Leonardo travelled throughout Italy acing as a military engineer and architect. One of his most famous works from this time was the design of a bridge meant to span the Golden Horn in Constantinople.

After his service with Casare, Leonardo moved back to Milan. With the death of his father in 1504 Leonardo was forced to move back to Florence. He remained there until about 1513 when he entered into the service of the Pope. For the next three years Leonardo lived primarily in the Vatican in Rome. It was here that Leonardo met the King of France, Francois I.

Francois I was very taken with Leonardo's work and convinced Leonardo to move to France. In 1516 Leonardo took up residence in France in a manor house that the King provided for him. During his service to François I Leonardo produced work on the nature of water, did studies on cats and horses and created various new machines. Leonardo died three years later on May 2nd 1519. It is said that the King himself was present at Leonardo's deathbed. Leonardo's funeral included sixty beggars following his casket to his final resting place in the Chapel of Saint Hubert in the Castle of Amboise.

Quick, what do you think of Leonardo Da Vinci?

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Famous Words by Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci Quotes

Art is never finished, only abandoned.

Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.

As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself.

It's easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.

Just as courage imperils life, fear protects it.

Life well spent is long.

Learning never exhausts the mind.

Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it.

Water is the driving force of all nature.

While I thought I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.

I Who sows virtue reaps honour.

As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.

Intellectual passion dries out sensuality.

Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.

You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand.

Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.

Supreme happiness will be the greatest cause of misery and the perfection of wisdom the occasion of folly.

Patience serves a as protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

The smallest feline is a masterpiece.

The truth of things is the chief nutrient of superior intellect.

Leonardo Da Vinci's Inventions and Theories

  • A tank
  • A hang glider
  • Learned how the moon affected the tides
  • Diving suit
  • Double hull
  • Helicopter
  • Calculator
  • Had a theory of plate tectonics
  • Bobbin winder
  • Solar power
  • Designed bridges
  • Designed canals
  • Submarine
  • Parachute
  • Bicycle

Facts You May Not Have Known About Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci Facts

Leonardo was left handed

Leonardo had 17 half brothers and sisters.

Bill Gates paid $30 million for one of Leonardo's scientific journals

His famous Mona Lisa hangs in the Louvre in Paris.

Leonardo's Last Supper and The Mona Lisa are the most copied paintings of all time.

Among Leonardo's friends were Machiavelli, Caesar Borgia and Luca Pacioli.

Leonardo was a vegetarian

Leonardo often wrote backwards, and his works can be read in a mirror

Leonardo was given the title of Premier Painter by the King of France, Francis the 1st

French soldiers used one of Leonardo's model sculptures for target practice

Leonardo began painting the Mona Lisa in 1503

Leonardo never married

Leonardo is buried in France

Great Secrets: Da Vinci

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Great Leonardo Da Vinci stuff from Amazon

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    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Here's a 3D representation of Leonardo's Vitruvian man!

    • fotolady49 lm profile image

      fotolady49 lm 7 years ago

      Great lens, 5*****!!! also learned some new things about Leonardo! Thanks also for visiting my History of Modern Art Lens! Can't wait to look at some of your other lenses...

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: im doin a school project lol

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      whatever I read about him is fascinating...

      how can a person b multitasking???

      I wish I were in his period to knw every details of him as a person!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      My all-time true genius! Whom I admire above all!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago


      I have featured your lens here => How to think like Leonardo da Vinci

      Hope you approve of it.


    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      cool site ...

      one possible mistake ... was he really left handed? That's what i used to think but something I read made me question it. Something about him not being able to paint with the same "Da Vinci quality" after his right side of body was kinda paralyzed.

      Right or left, Da Vinci ROCKS !!!

    • papawu profile image

      papawu 9 years ago

      Fabulous lens about one of my favorite historical figure. As much information as there is out there about him, I daresay much of it is just conjecture in regards to the man himself. He was such a complex genius and I believe he was probably a high-ranking member of the Society of the Illuminati. Great job on this lens! 5 stars to you and if I were an angel, I would definitely bless it.

    • Purpleslipper profile image

      Purpleslipper 9 years ago

      Great Page.

      Did you know that leonarno reputedly had Parkinsons Disease

      A smile can mean so much,

      On a few things let us then touch,

      I feel good

      I told you so

      On and on we could go

      But what does a smile really show

      Lookat your smile in the looking glass,

      Is it an expression of how you feel,

      Or a fleeting expression and no big deal

      Science bods have toiled away

      and think can tell us what made up the smile of the day

      That smile was on the Mona Lisa

      A woman who looked like nothing er pleased her

      The constituents that went into pulling that face

      83% happy 9% distinguished 6% fearfull and 2%angry

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      this is a great site. lots of interesting things. its great for school projects. no i'm not in the leonardo da vinci fan club. but i still think he did some great stuff and that he was a very talented man. i thimk it would be interesting to meet him person. there would be so many questions to ask.

    • BFunivcom profile image

      Allan R. Wallace 9 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      "It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things." -- Leonardo da Vinci

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      Thank you for visiting the frogs. The Starry Starry Night stars are shining down on your lens, wishing you the best for making such a great start on this lens. When you are finished, please email me.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 10 years ago


      Yay! Wonderful lens! Excellent choice!

      Unlock Creativity|Critical Thinking Creative Writing Active Reading=Great Art