|Leonardo da Vinci was born on the 15th
April of 1452, in a little village, Vinci (near Empolia), in the mountains situated one
day from Firenze.
In 1469 (when Leonardo was 16 years old), he got the permission of his father to go to college in Firenze. He followed an artistic education with the versatile artist Andrea Verrocchio. Verocchio was a painter, a goldsmith, producer of musical instruments and mechanical objects. All these qualities have been handed down from Verocchio to Leonardo.
Twenty years old (1473), Leonardo joined the painters' guild and together with Verocchio he made "The baptism of Christ". With this painting he discovered a real anthology of different styles of oil paint, which gave beautiful results. His master became very jalous because of his success. In this period Leonardo made his first painting: "The valley of Arno". It was a pen drawing of the nature, which was the most beatiful thing on earth according to da Vinci. On this drawing he also used a new technique: sfumato, which literally means: "made to fog".
|He became interested in geometry when he illustrated Pacioli's Divina proportione. He studied Euclid and the Platonic solids and he made pictures of regular solids including the dodecahedron. He gave several methods of squaring the circle using mechanical methods. He even neglected his painting becoming so engrossed in geometry. In 1483 he became again an artist. Leonardo and his master thought Milan was as pretty as Firenze and they wanted to let that be seen. Leonardo's first assignment was the making of a big bronze statue of Sjarozo's father. Da Vinci worked more than 11 years on his model in clay, but it was destroyed in 1499 by the French... 16 years of work, all for nothing.|
|Afterwards he got the assignment to paint
"The fight at Anghiari" on a wall of a council chamber. Michelangelo
painted another wall in this room. Both their jobs didn't get finished. In 1506 Leonardo
went back to Milan, where the French controlled everything. He did assignments for Charles
d'Amboise (a French commander). Leonardo almost didn't paint for seven years and did
mechanics, optics, anatomics and mathemathics. One of his projects was the designing of
the Pante´n Swamps, but most of his designs were finished only later.
In 1512 (he was 60) he didn't have any income. This happend because he
started a lot but didn't finish anything. In this period he painted his self-portret in
red chalk. Even when he was paralysed, he kept on painting. In 1517 he become courtpainter
of Franšois I, the French king. Leonardo got in Amboise a little castle, where he made
little notes and where he did scientific experiments.
|Leonardo has left 5000 papers and notes. The biggest part of these were written in mirror writing. Nobody knows why. Was he left-handed , wanted he to protect his work from plagiarism or from the catholic church? These notes were mainly about anatomics, important sketches who still are used; flying art, works about birds and bats, designs for flying machines and realistic sketches of parachutes and helicopters. He also had non-finished works , mainly about painting and maths. Even though they are unfinished, you can learn a lot from them.|
2) The controversial Replica of Leonardo da Vinci's Adding Machine
3) The Vitruvian Man
4) Quotations by Leonardo da Vinci
6) If you want to know more...