Leonardo Da Vinci’s Life in Three Minutes
Leonardo Da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, Italy. Leonardo did not author an autobiography; therefore, what little is known of his early life has been gathered from tax records and other documents of the period. What is known is that he was the illegitimate son of Ser Piero da Vinci and a woman who is only known by her first name, Catrina. It is speculated that she was possible a slave from the Middle East or perhaps just a lowly servant that worked in the household.
His father, a notary of some stature, did not raise him. It is known that Leonardo (christened Lionardo) lived with his. Later on, he went to live with his father or his father’s younger brother, Francesco. What became of his mother is unknown.
The Genius of Leonardo da Vinci
Artist Leonardo da Vinci produced two of the most famous paintings in history, “The Last Supper” and the “Mona Lisa.” But he was also passionate about medical discoveries and military inventions, some of which were centuries ahead of their time. Walter Isaacson, the author of bestselling biographies of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin, has written a new book about da Vinci, and he talks with Dr Jon LaPook about why this Renaissance Man’s mind and curiosity were so extraordinary.
The Renaissance – the Age of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci DW Documentary
Beginning at the end of the 14th Century, the Renaissance created a new type of man, triggering economic, scientific, technical, religious, social and cultural developments that are unique in history.
Never before have culture, economics and science developed so rapidly within one century as during the Renaissance. But what was the catalyst for it, what is the “Renaissance factor”? The Renaissance is an epoch unique in human history: Never before have art, culture, economics and science developed so rapidly within a single century. We search for the “Renaissance factor”, that combination of influences that triggered a pivotal period in history. It is a journey through time from Ancient Rome to the Crusades and the Black Death in the 14th century, events that defined the developments of the Renaissance. We travel with Michelangelo to the major construction site that was to become St. Peter’s Basilica, to the banking houses of the Medicis and the workshop of Johannes Gutenberg. We examine some of the many innovations of the Renaissance such as linear perspective, the printing press and double-entry bookkeeping. We ask what these achievements mean to us today and how – almost half a millennium later – we continue to benefit from the “Renaissance factor.” And we delve deeper with the help of spectacular reenactments and our “special investigators” – modern-day trendsetters, scientists, business tycoons, fashion designers and artists.
Because of the circumstances of his birth, Leonardo’s early training was probably conducted by his step-mother, Donna Albiera, although he was mainly self-taught. Later on in life, his illegitimacy would also influence his prospects for obtaining a higher education and the means to earn a living. When his father noted his artistic talent, he was sent to Florence as an apprentice to Andrea del Verrocchio at around the age of 16 or 17.
During his first Florentine period (1478-1483) Leonardo received some of his first commissions. He became known for his artistic talents with his work on Madonna and Child (c. 1478), Small Annunciation (1480-1481), and Adoration of the Magi (c. 1481-82).
Leonardo was revered by friends and colleagues as being handsome and charismatic. He was kind and generous and probably one of the world’s first animal rights activists. He was also a practising vegetarian (almost unknown in the fifteenth century.) However, he was not so well-liked that he was immune to gossip and in 1476 he was arrested on the charge of sodomy. After about two months of incarceration, he was released due to a lack of evidence. The question of his sexuality still remains a mystery.
Bill Gates about Leonardo da Vinci
Bill Gates shares his thoughts on Leonardo da Vinci and the new biography about him by author Walter Isaacson.
After his release in 1478, Leonardo left Florence for the first time and travelled to Milan. There he joined a new patron, Ludovico Sforza. Initially, he was to have been a military engineer but instead became the court artist. He designed several machines such as catapults and armoured cars but none were ever built. During this time he also painted one of his most famous frescos, The Last Supper not actually a fresco in the true sense of the word but still paramount in establishing him as a portraitist and artist.
In 1506 he headed back to Milan, remaining there for six years to continue his anatomy studies. Then in 1511, he moved to Rome where he continued his experiments with flight and optical puzzles as well as botany and the scientific mixing of oil paints and varnishes.
In 1516 Leonardo joined the King of France, Francois I, in the Loire Valley. The ageing artist was ill and suffering from a stroke. Unable to paint, he undertook several projects including a walking mechanical lion. Instead of a heart, the lion’s chest opened to reveal a fleur-de-lis. He also designed a palace at Romorantin, reorganized his notebooks, and several other smaller projects.
On May 2, 1519, Leonardo died and was buried in Saint-Florentine in Amboise. But even in death, his travels were not over. During the Wars of Religion Leonardo’s remains were moved several times. Eventually, he was buried in the Chapel of St. Hubert in the castle of Amboise.
Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, musician, philosopher, engineer, botanist, anatomist, mathematician and a humanitarian. He did not believe in life after death and he did not agree with the teachings of the church. He was generous but suspicious. He questioned everything around him and excelled at everything he undertook. He spent 30 years keeping meticulous records and journals documenting his experiments and designs. Vasari observes with reference to Leonardo’s writings, “he wrote backwards in rude characters, and with the left hand, so that anyone who is not practised in reading them, cannot understand them”. He did not number the five thousand pages he documented but ensured that each observation or experiment documented be completed on one page. Leonardo took great pains to finish his notebooks. Yet, in contrast to his scientific studies, this artist who epitomizes the Renaissance left much of his artistic endeavours unfinished.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Mystery Art
This stunning price reflects the extreme rarity of paintings by Leonardo da Vinci — there are fewer than 20 in existence acknowledged as being from the artist’s own hand, and all apart from Salvator Mundi are in museum collections.
Much of Leonardo’s life is a mystery in spite of his writings. Little is known of the man inside the body because he did not reveal much to the world. His accomplishments throughout his 67 years on earth did much to revolutionize the artistic community and, had his machines been built, would have revolutionized society centuries in advance. Leonardo was truly a man before his time.
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