Who was Leonardo da Vinci?

"Truly marvelous and celestial was Leonardo, so great was his genius,
and such its growth, that to whatever difficulties he turned his mind,
he solved them with ease.
" - Renaissance biographer, Giorgio Vasari,
Lives of the Renaissance Artists, c. 16th-century

Leonardo da Vinci, possible Self-Portrait, c. 1513

"A good painter has two main objects to paint, man and the intention of his soul. The former is easy, the latter hard as he has to represent it by the attitude and movement of the limbs." - Leonardo da Vinci

Artist/genius; universal man

  • He was born near Florence in 1452; he died in 1519 in France.
  • In life, he appeared to be superhuman, mysterious, and remote, although he could be very engaging when it suited him.
  • As an attractive young man, he was an amazing athlete known for his strength and speed.
  • He was apprenticed in the studio of Verrochio, a Florentine sculptor and painter.
  • He left Florence in 1481, offering his service to the Duke of Milan, as a military/civil engineer and sculptor among other things.
  • The unparalleled scope and depth of his interests included: artist, inventor, scientist, and engineer working in the fields of painting, sculpture, writing, anatomy, astronomy, hydraulics, geology, zoology, physics, military and civil engineering, aerodynamics and flight.
  • He completed few paintings, but left many journals filled with his ideas and thoughts.
  • His best known works are The Last Supper, The Virgin of the Rocks, and Mona Lisa.

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

Recommended External Links

Leonardo da Vinci
National Museum of Science and Technology - Milano, Italy

The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci

The Last Supper
S. Maria della Grazie Official Site
Preparatory Drawings, Historic Events, The Last Restoration (English Version)

The Virgin of the Rocks

The Mona Lisa

The Virgin and Child with St. Anne
The Louvre Museum Official Site - Paintings