Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 in Vinci, in the valley of the River Arno, Tuscany, territory of the Medici and Republic of Florence.
Illegitimate son and firstborn of the notary Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, and of Caterina, a peasant woman. His baptism took place in the nearby parochial church of Santa Croce, but both the father and the mother did not attend when they were not married.
Leonardo da Vinci had no surname in the current sense, and “Da Vinci” simply means “De vinci”: His full birth name was “Lionardo di ser Piero da vinci”. The inclusion of the title of “Ser ” indicates that his/her father was a gentleman. His mother found a husband who accepted his situation “compromised.”
He spent his first five years in the village of Anchiano at his progenitor’s home, and from 1457, at his father’s and grandparents ‘ house. In 1452, his father Piero had married Albia Giovanni Amadori, of which he had no children.
In 1460 Leonardo da Vinci moved to Florence, where it was formed. His stepmother died in 1464, when the family was already living in Florence, and was buried in San Biagio. Being Piero married three times more: in 1464, with Francesca di Ser Giuliano Lanfredini, who also died without offspring; With Margherita di Francesco di Jacopo di Guglielmo, in 1475, who finally gave him six children; Another six had his fourth and last marriage. Leonardo had thus 12 half-brothers, all much younger than him (the latter was born when Leonardo was forty), and with whom he did not have much relationship but a great deal of problems for his father’s inheritance.
Around 1466 he attended the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio, where he started in various activities, from painting altarpieces and tables, to the elaboration of large sculptural projects in marble and bronze. In 1472 he was admitted to the Guild of Painters of Florence, and in 1476 is still mentioned as assistant Verrocchio, in whose work The Baptism of Christ (c. 1470, Uffizi, Florence), painted the angel kneeling on the left and the landscape of nuances Neblinosos. His first assignment was an altarpiece for the chapel of the Palazzo Vecchio, of the Florentine town hall, although it did not run.
Sublime painter, sculptor, avant-garde engineer, original inventor, musician, innovative architect, daring strategist, eccentric writer, demanding master… he is considered one of the greatest geniuses of mankind. His first great work, the Adoration of the Magi (Uffizi), which left unfinished, was commissioned by the monks of San Donato de Scopeto, near Florence, towards 1481. Other works of this period are: the Benois Madonna (c. 1478, Ermitage, St. Petersburg), the portrait of Geneva from Benci (c. 1474, National Gallery, Washington) and the unfinished San Jerónimo (c. 1481, Vatican PINACOTECA).
In 1482 Leonardo da Vinci was placed at the service of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, after having written a letter in which the artist offered as a painter, sculptor, architect, as well as an engineer, inventor and hydraulic and where he said he could build bridges Laptops, who knew the techniques for bombing and cannon, which could make boats as well as armoured vehicles, catapults and other war machines and could even make sculptures in marble, bronze and terracotta.
He helped the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli in his famous work The Divine proportion (1509). The most important work of the period in Milan are the two versions of the Virgin of the Rocks (1483-1485, Louvre, Paris; Decade of 1490-1506-1508, National Gallery, London), where it applies the triangular compositional scheme that encloses the Virgin, the Child, Saint John and the Angel , and where it applies for the first time the technique of sfumato.
Life of Leonardo da Vinci
From 1495 to 1497 he worked in his masterpiece The Last Supper, mural painting for the refectory of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan. He also made other paintings, drawings and models for the dome of the Cathedral of Milan. His biggest assignment was the colossal Bronze equestrian monument of Francesco Sforza, Ludovico’s father, for his location in the courtyard of the Sforzesco Castle. However, in December 1499, the Sforza family was expelled from Milan by the French troops. The statue was unfinished and destroyed by French archers who used it as a Diana.
In 1500 Leonardo da Vinci returned to Florence. In 1502 he began to serve César Borgia, Duke of Romagna, son of Pope Alexander VI. In his capacity as architect and senior engineer of the Duke, he oversaw the works in the fortresses of the papal territories of central Italy. In 1503 he was a member of the Commission of Artists responsible for deciding on the proper location of David de Miguel Ángel (1501-1504, Academia, Florence), and also worked as an engineer in the war against Pisa. At the end of this year began to plan the decoration for the Grand Hall of the Palace of the Signoria with the theme of the Battle of Anghiari. He made numerous drawings and completed a carton in 1505, but never made the paint on the wall. The cardboard was destroyed in the 17th century.
During his second Florentine period, he made several portraits, of which only the de La Gioconda (1503-1506, Louvre, Paris) is preserved, also known as Monna Lisa. It seems that I felt a great predilection for this work as it carried it with it in its travels. La Gioconda, with an enigmatic face, actually existed: it was Lisa Gherardini, second wife of Francesco del Giocondo, a wealthy Florentine silk merchant, according to the Florentine historian Giuseppe Pallanti, who concluded that the figure painted by Leonardo da Vinci between 1503 and 1506 was real.
In 1506 it returns to Milan in the service of the French governor Charles II Chaumont, Marshal of Amboise. A year later he was appointed painter of the Court of Louis XII of France, who was then residing in the Italian city. For the next six years he spent his time between Milan and Florence. From this same time it seems to be the second version of the Virgin of the Rocks and Santa Ana, the Virgin and the Child (c. 1506-1513, Louvre, Paris).
From 1514 to 1516 Leonardo da Vinci lived in Rome under the patronage of Giuliano de Medici, brother of Pope Leo X. He was staying at the Belvedere Palace in the Vatican, mainly dealing with scientific and technical experiments.
In the scientific part you can see his interest in the anatomical studies of the human body, based on the autopsies of cadavers he performed, although this practice was banned in the fifteenth century. It is believed that he was able to dissect some thirty corpses with whom he drew in detail and clarity a large part of the body’s organs.
Leonardo da Vinci was strictly vegetarian, called the omnivores “corpse Eaters “. It seems that he never had a relationship with women except for his friendship with Cecilia Gallerani. Kept secret private life. In Florence, when Leonardo was an apprentice of Verrochio, a complaint was filed against the painter accusing of paedophile. His guards managed to evade public judgment.
His sexuality has been the subject of controversy and it seems that he had intimate relations with his disciples Salai and Melzi. In 1476, Leonardo da Vinci and three other young men were charged with sodomy, although the charges were dismissed for lack of evidence. In any case, Leonardo remained single and without children.
In 1516 it moved to live in France, with the court of Francis I, where it spent its last years in the castle of Cloux, near Amboise.
On April 23, 1519, he drafted testament to the notary Guglielmo Boreau, expressing his desire to be buried in the church of Saint-Florentin, with a funeral ceremony accompanied by small chaplains and friars, as well as 60 poor people, each with a Torch. Leonardo died on May 2 of the same year in Amboise, Kingdom of France. It was buried in the cloister of the Church of Saint-Florentin in Amboise. Fifty years later the tomb was violated and its remains were scattered during the religious struggle between Catholics and Huguenots.
Works Leonardo da Vinci
- Dreyfus Madonna (Madonna of the Grenade), 1469-1470, oil on table, 15, 7×12, 8 cm
- Tobias and the angel, about 1470-1475, Temple on table, 84×66 cm
- Annunciation, about 1472-1475, tempera and oil on canvas, 98×217 cm
- Landscape with river, in 1473, drawing on paper, 19×28, 5 cm
- Madonna of the carnation, about 1473, oil on wood, 62×47, 5 cm
- Hand study, about 1474, white silver tip on pink paper, 21.4 x15 cm
- Portrait of Ginevra de ‘ Benci, about 1474, oil and temple on wood, 38.8 x36, 7 cm
- Former captain’s profile, 1475, silver tip on prepared paper, 28.5 x20, 7 cm
- Baptism of Christ, 1475-1478, oil and temple on board, 177x151cm
- Annunciation, on 1475-1478, Temple on table, 16×60 cm body of Bernardo Baroncelli, hanged in 1478
- Madonna Benois, 1478-1482, oil on table transferred to canvas, 48×31 cm
- St. Jerome, 1480, oil on canvas, 103×75 cm
- Defense Device Studies 1480
- Hydraulic tool Studies 1480
- Flower Studio, 1480-1481
- Sketch for the Virgin of the Gatto, 1480-1481
- Prospective study of the Adoration of the Magi, 1481
- Study for the Adoration of the Magi, 1481
- Adoration of the Magi, 1481-1482
- Equestrian monument of Francesco Sforza, 1482-1493
- Study of the Angel of the Virgin of the Rocks, 1483-1485
- Studies for the Virgin of the Rocks, 1483
- Virgin of the Rocks, 1483-1486, oil on table transferred to canvas, 199×122 cm
- Portrait of a musician, towards 1485, oil on canvas, 44, 7×32 cm
- Study for the monument to Francesco Sforza, 1485
- Air Screw, 1487
- Milan Cathedral cruise coverage project, 1487-1488
- Study for war machinery, 1487-1490
- Lady of Ermine, 1488-1490, oil on table, 54, 8×40, 3 cm
- Ideas for the figure of St. Peter at the Last Supper, 1488-1490
- Studio for the Last Supper, 1488-1490
- Skull section, 1489
- The man of Vitruvio, 1490, pencil and ink on paper, 34×24 cm
- Study of the front legs of a horse, 1490
- Geometric and botanical figures design 1490
- Light rays through a small aperture angle, 1490-1491
- Ferronnière, 1490-1495, oil on table, 63×45 cm
- Project for strengthening the fusion of the horse’s head, 1491-1493
- Emblem of the Sforza, 1492-1494
- Virgin of the Rocks, 1494-1508, oil on canvas, 189.5 x 120 cm
- Head of Christ, 1494, chalk and pastel on paper, 40×32 cm
- Hair, tapes, masking objects, 1494
- Virile head, 1494 or 1499 project for a device, 1494-1496
- Last Supper, 1494-1498, oil on wall, 460×880 cm
- Portrait Sforza, 1495, chalk and ink on parchment, 33×23 cm
- Sketch of three figures in the profile, 1495
- Old and young tackled, 1495
- Portraits of the Dukes of Milan with their children, 1497, tempera and oil on the wall, 90 cm
- 1497 Lady handbag Sketch
- interweaving plants with fruits and monochromes of roots and rocks, 1498
- Study for the portrait of Isabel of this 1499
- Portrait of Isabella of East, 1500, 63×46 cm
- Madonna dei Fusi, 1501, oil on table transferred to canvas and glued on wood, 50, 2×36, 4 cm
- Madonna dei Fusi, 1501, oil on board, 48, 3×36, 9 cm
- Study for the Virgin and Santa Ana, 1501
- Santa Ana Carton, 1501-1505, black pencil, lead white and stain on paper, 141, 5×104, 6
- Billiard facing a circular atrium, 1502-1503
- Polygonal fortress, 1502-1503
- Mona Lisa, 1503-1514, oil on canvas, 77X53 cm
- Study of the proportions of the Battle of Anghiari: Infantry and Cavalry, 1503-1504
- Study of the head of a warrior of the Battle of Anghiari, 1504
- Battle of Anghiari, 1505
- Leda’s head, about 1505-1510, red chalk on paper prepared red, 20×15, 7 cm
- Leda and the Swan, 1505-1510
- Cranberries, 1506
- Study for the monument to the Marshal Trivulzio, 1507
- Scapigliata, 1508, over Wood, 24, 7×21 cm
- Look through a human eye, 1508-1509
- San Juan Bautista, 1508-1513, oil on table, 69×57 cm
- Santa Ana, Madonna and Child with Lamb, 1510-1513, oil on canvas, 168×112 cm
- Baco, 1510-1515, oil on table transferred to canvas, 177×115 cm
- Reflection, 1510-1515
- Canal between the lake of Lecco and the Lambo, 1513
- Geometry studies, 1513
- Studies on Civitavecchia 1514
- Study of three dancing figures, 1515
- Self portrait, 1515, sanguine on paper, 33, 5×21, 3 cm