Leonardo da Vinci
April 15, 1452 - May 2, 1519
Great Artist and Inventorby Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003
Leonardo da Vinci, the great artist and inventor of the fifteenth century, came into existence on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, Italy. This famous man achieved much in his lifetime, including beautiful paintings, creative and unusual inventions, life-like sculptures, and many scientific advances. Leonardo da Vinci's work started new styles and opened new horizons in nearly every field in which he did work. With his paintings, he introduced new techniques, and researched concepts such as perspective, vanishing point, and sfumato. He came up with many new and original inventions, many of which he implemented. He made plans for a great amount of inventions, many of which have been implemented in recent times. Leonardo da Vinci became famous during his lifetime, and his fame only grew from that point on. His contributions to the world are among the greatest of any who have ever lived. If there exists any who could be called a genius, there is a high probability that Leonardo da Vinci would a candidate for this title.
Leonardo spent most of his younger years in Vinci, Italy, at his father's house. Upon reaching the age of fifteen, he relocated to Florence, Italy, where he began his apprenticeship with a famous artist by the name of Andrea del Verrochio. Da Vinci showed his great talent at Verrochio's workshop, and quickly surpassed his master. At the age of twenty-two, after spending seven years as Verrochio's apprentice, Leonardo set up his own workshop. One year after establishing his workshop, Leonardo began work for Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. Leonardo spent 17 years working for Sforza, until he fell from power in Milan in 1499. Leonardo produced some of his greatest works during this time, including an 80 ton statue of Sforza's father on horseback. He also produced many plans for machines of war, buildings, and other tools while working for the duke.
After Sforza left power in Milan, Leonardo moved back to Florence where he began to work for Cesare Borgia, the son of Pope Alexander VI. He spent six years working for Borgia, as a military architect and engineer. It was during his time with Borgia that Leonardo began working on his most famous painting, the Mona Lisa. In 1506 da Vinci ceased working for Borgia and moved back to Milan, where he began work for Maximilian Sforza, after some Swiss mercenaries removed the French. This lasted for approximately seven years, until 1513, when he moved to Rome. At this time there existed many great artists, and Rome was very active with new art and ideas. At this time, great artists such as Rafael and Michaelangelo began to make their famous works of art, though da Vinci had little contact with either of these figures.
After France retook Milan in 1515, Francis I commissioned Leonardo to make a mechanical lion as a centrepiece for the negotiations between the French king and Pope Leo X. Francis gave Leonardo a mansion near the Royal Chateau at Amboise in which to live, as well as generous pay. Da Vinci died in Cloux, France, in 1519, at the age of 67 years old. He was buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert at Amboise.
Leonardo da Vinci was truly one of the greatest people who ever lived. He excelled at nearly everything he undertook; he often began so many projects that he often left many of his projects unfinished because of his dedication to some new project he had undertaken. Leonardo's art is famous throughout the world. Many of his paintings can be found in Paris, France, at the Louvre, one of the largest museums of art in the world. He designed many plans for unusual machines, many of which were far ahead of his time. Some of his plans even included those for machines such as a helicopter, or an armored tank. In the science field, he forged ahead in the discovery of the human body by performing many dissections on dead bodies, to learn more about the anatomy of humans. There is no doubt that Leonardo da Vinci is one of the greatest men who ever lived, with all of his discoveries, inventions, and great works of art. With all of his contributions to the world, many consider da Vinci to be one of the most intelligent people to ever live.
"Renaissance Man". Museum of Science, Boston. 16 Dec 2004
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