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  • Writer's pictureDarcy McVicar

Leonardo DaVinci - the early years

Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, in the small town of Vinci, Italy. He was the illegitimate son of a wealthy Florentine notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman named Caterina. Despite his illegitimate birth, Leonardo was given a good education and as a teenager, he became an apprentice to Andrea del Verrocchio, a prominent artist, and engineer in Florence.

During his apprenticeship, Leonardo learned the trade of painting, sculpture, and metalworking, as well as studying a wide range of subjects such as mathematics, engineering, and the sciences. He was particularly interested in the workings of the human body and spent many hours studying and drawing the anatomy of the human body. This interest in the human body would later become a recurring theme in his work as an artist.

In 1472, at the age of 20, Leonardo became a master artist in his own right. He began to take on his own apprentices and began working on his own commissions. He quickly gained a reputation as an artist of great skill and talent, and his work began to attract the attention of some of the most powerful people in Florence.

In 1482, Leonardo was hired by Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan, to work as a military engineer and artist. Leonardo spent the next 17 years in Milan, working on a wide range of projects, including the design of weapons and fortifications, as well as painting and sculpture. He also continued to study the natural world and made many scientific observations and drawings.

During this time, Leonardo produced some of his most famous works, including "The Last Supper" and "The Vitruvian Man". "The Last Supper" is a mural painting that depicts the moment when Jesus announces that one of his disciples will betray him. The painting is known for its powerful emotional impact and for its use of light and shadow to create a sense of depth and movement. "The Vitruvian Man" is a drawing that shows the ideal proportions of the human body according to the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius. The drawing is notable for its precision and accuracy, as well as its beauty.

In 1499, Ludovico Sforza was overthrown and Leonardo was forced to leave Milan. He moved to Venice and then to Florence, where he worked on a wide range of projects, including painting, sculpture, and engineering. He also continued to study the natural world and made many scientific observations and drawings.

In 1513, Leonardo moved to Rome, where he was employed by Pope Leo X as an artist and engineer. He spent the next four years in Rome, working on a wide range of projects, including painting, sculpture, and engineering. He also continued to study the natural world and made many scientific observations and drawings.

In 1517, Leonardo returned to France, where he was employed by King Francis I as an artist and engineer. He spent the last three years of his life in France, working on a wide range of projects, including painting, sculpture, and engineering. He also continued to study the natural world and made many scientific observations and drawings.

Leonardo da Vinci died on May 2, 1519, at the age of 67. He was buried in the chapel of Saint-Florentin in the palace of Cloux, near Amboise in France. He left behind a vast body of work, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, and scientific observations, that continues to be studied and admired to this day. He was an artist, scientist and engineer whose work has influenced many fields, including art, science, engineering, and medicine


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