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Leonardo da Vinci Facts

Leonardo da Vinci

Facts about Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci is described as the archetypal Renaissance Man and by author Giorgio Vasari as the “founder of the High Renaissance.”

His portrait of the Mona Lisa (c. 1503–06) is the most famous painting in the world depicting a smiling, enigmatic woman in the foreground and nature with rolling hills and a meandering river in the landscaped background.

Leonardo da Vinci was a truly gifted individual, he was a master painter, polymath, sculptor, musician, architect, engineer, inventor and the list goes on. Apprenticed to Verrocchio he became a master of perspective and composition.

His contemporaries were Domenico Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Botticelli and Lorenzo di Credi. Although born in Florence he moved to Rome, Bologna and Venice but spent his last years in France.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact Sheet: Who was Leonardo da Vinci? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Leonardo da Vinci, the famous Italian Renaissance Artist.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact File: Lifespan: 1452 – 1519 *** Full Name: Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci was best known as Leonardo da Vinci *** Date of Birth (Birthday): He was born on April 15th 1452 *** Place of Birth: Leonardo da Vinci was born in Vinci, Italy *** Family background: His father was a wealthy man *** Education: Leonardo da Vinci began his artistic education apprenticed to Renaissance artist Andrea del Verrocchio *** Leonardo da Vinci died on on May 2nd, 1519

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 1: Date and Place of Birth – Leonardo was born on April 15th 1452 in Vinci, Tuscany, Italy. His name "da Vinci" simply means "of Vinci", the Tuscan town where he was born.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 2: Family – His father, Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, was a legal notary of Florentine, a landowner and a wealthy man. His mother's name was Caterina, a peasant. Leonardo da Vinci was born out of wedlock and he spent the first five years of his mother. After this time he lived in his father’s home with his grandparents and Uncle Francesco where he was treated as a legitimate son. He was well educated and was taught Latin, mathematics and geometry.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 3: When Leonardo da Vinci was about 15, his father apprenticed
him to the Renaissance artist Andrea del Verrocchio and also studied with artist Antonio Pollaiuolo who owned the workshop next door.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 4: He established his own workshop in 1472 and became a member of St Lukes Guild, the Florentine painters’ guild.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 5: Leonardo da Vinci never married or had any children.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 6: In 1481 Leonardo da Vinci began work on 'The Adoration of the Magi', an altarpiece for the Monastery of San Donato at Scopeto.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 7: The following year, 1482, he moved to Milan to work in the service of Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan where he gained the title of "painter and engineer of the duke".

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 8: His ongoing project in Milan was to create a massive bronze equestrian statue to be erected in honor of an ancestor of his patron called Francesco Sforza, who was the founder of the Sforza dynasty. The bronze statue of the horse was never completed.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 9: He spent 17 years in Milan and during this time he created some of his most famous works and became associated with the 'Golden Ratio'.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 10: The golden ratio is a term used to describe aesthetically pleasing proportioning within a piece of art and relating to the lengths of various body parts. Leonardo Da Vinci
called this ratio the "divine proportion" and featured this in many of his works such as the Mona Lisa and his famous Vitruvian Man

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 11: The Vitruvian Man was a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci that he completed in 1490. The drawing of the Vitruvian Man describes the relationship between ideal human proportions and geometry (the golden ratio) and is based on the correlations of the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 12: The monumental wall painting of The Last Supper was painted between 1495–98. The Last Supper was painted in the refectory of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 13: In January 1500 Leonardo da Vinci, accompanied by mathematician
Lucas Pacioli, left Milan and moved to Venice where he entered the service of Cesare Borgia as “senior military architect and general engineer.”

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 14: Leonardo da Vinci returned to Florence in the spring of 1503 and received a commission to paint a mural in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio but it was never finished. It was during this period that he painted the Mona Lisa (c. 1503–06).

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 15: His interest in science and anatomy increased at this time and he conducted dissections in the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova as part of his studies.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 16: He returned to Milan in 1508 and started to undertake work commissioned by his illustrious patrons King Louis XII and Charles d’Amboise, the French governor of Milan. (King Louis XI had conquered the Duchy of Milan in 1500). His role focussed largely on advice in architectural matters.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 17: His studies in anatomy achieved a new dimension in Milan due to his collaboration with Marcantonio della Torre, a
famous anatomist from Pavia.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 18: He spent much of his time at his workshop with many young artists including Gian Giacomo Caprotti, Bernardino Luini
and the young nobleman Francesco Melzi, who became his closest friend and companion until his death.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 19: The last years of his life were spent in Rome under the patronage of Giuliano de Medici, the brother of
the new pope, Pope Leo X. However, he was not given any new commissions and he worked on mathematical studies and technical experiments as Raphael and Michelangelo were the artists in favor.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 20: In 1516 Leonardo da Vinci acepted an invitation from King Francis I to enter his service in France. He left Italy forever, together with the faithful Melzi. He was given the title of “First painter, architect, and engineer to the King”.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 21: He worked on plans for the palace and garden of Romorantin and his scientific studies but did little painting.

Leonardo da Vinci Fact 22: Leonardo da Vinci died in France at Cloux on May 2nd, 1519, near the summer palace at Amboise and was buried in the palace church of Saint-Florentin.

List of Famous Works by Leonardo da Vinci: ***
Mona Lisa, 1517 *** The Last Supper, 1498 *** The Creation of Adam *** Vitruvian Man *** Lady with an ?Ermine,? 1490 *** Virgin of the ?Rocks, 1486 *** Ginevra de ?Benci?, 1478 *** The Baptism of ?Christ, 1475 *** The Virgin and ?Child with St. Anne, 1508
St. John the ?Baptist?, 1516 *** Annunciation?, 1475 *** Adoration of the ?Magi?, 1481 *** Head of a ?Woman?, 1508

Short Facts about Leonardo da Vinci for Kids
The above short facts detail interesting information about the life, milestones, history and key events that occurred during the life of this famous character. A fast, simple way to present a short biography of Leonardo da Vinci with important dates and info that provides details such as the date of birth (birthday), place of birth, education, family, work and career. An ideal educational resource for kids, schools, teachers and social studies.

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