Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci
1.94 m or 6feet 4.5inches
Death Date: May 2, 1519
Leonardo da Vinci is well renowned for his expertise in a variety of subjects including painting, sculpting, engineering, geology, botany, mathematics, and various other disciplines within the artistic and scientific realms. Leornado was born out of wedlock to a respected Florentine businessman, and a peasant woman in Vinci, Italy, hence the name da Vinci meaning of Vinci.
As a young teenager da Vinci became the apprentice of an artist in Florence known as Verrocchio. A 16th Century Biographer of Renaissance painters claimed that da Vinci’s contribution to his masters painting of the baptism of Christ was so profound that Verrocchio abandoned his paint brush and never painted again.
Da Vinci’s earliest known work was a drawing of the Arno Valley from the year 1473. One of da Vinci’s first independent work was the Adoration of the Magi, a painting commissioned by the monks of the San Donato a Scopeto it was never completed. In the late 15th Century da Vinci spent nearly 20 years in the land where he was commissioned by the fraternity of the Immaculate Conception to paint The Virgin of the Rocks, and by the Monastery of Santa Maria Delle Grazie to paint The Last Supper.
Da Vinci was employed in a variety of different projects by Ludivico il Moro, Duke of Milan including designs from the land’s cathedral and a model for an enormous equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza, Ludivico’s predecessor. After the start of the second Italian war in 1499, da Vinci fled to Venice and then back to Florence where he created and the child with St Anne and St John the Baptist.
da Vinci became an engineering and architectural adviser to Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI, by presenting him with a map ad town plan of Imola bourgeois fortification. Some of da Vinci’s other works include the famous small portrait known as the Monalisa. Completed in the early 16th century, the Monalisa was purchased by Francis I of France and is on permanent display at the Musée du Louvre in Paris.
One of the great innovations of this work is the relaxed three quarter pose of the subject. The subject’s enigmatic smile and the para-metal composition of the portrait were also da Vinci’s innovations. da Vinci’s technique of layering translucent layers of color in order to create subtle depth, volume and form led to a realism that was unparallel at the time.
da Vinci’s studies in Science and Engineering are as profound and ingenious as his artistic work. The Vitruvian Man, pen and ink on paper depicts a male figure, and is based on idea of human proportions as described by the ancient Roman architect, Vitruvius. His notes and drawings include studies of human anatomy and dissection, animals, plants, rock formations and even concepts for war machines similar to tanks, as well as a drawing of a flying machine.
Leonardo died in 1519. As his life’s work continues to dazzle and inspire millions, Leonardo da Vinci will always be known as the original renaissance man.