Leonardo da Vinci
He was born April 15, 1452 in Vinci. His parents were not married and they separated after he was born. Together they gave him 17 half brothers and sisters. He grew up with his father surrounded by scholarly texts and the rich painting traditions of his hometown. In 1467, at the age of 15, he went to Florence to be an apprentice at the renowned Andrea del Verrochio workshop. From an early age he showed signs of great genius. He showed his artistic ability in art done by the workshop, but his first big assignment was in 1475 to paint an angel in his master Verirochio's "Baptism of Christ". It was said that Leonardo was so much better than Verrochio that Verrochio vowed never to paint again.
He left the workshop in 1477 and in 1482 he entered the service of the Duke of Milan. The height of his career was during this time. He painted, sculpted, and designed weapons and machinery for the Duke. He also studied nature, geometry, mechanics, architecture, and anatomy. His workshop in Milan was very successful and full of apprentices and students.
He was interested in so many different things than he did not often finish his works before he got bored and moved onto the next one. During his 17 years in Milan he only finished 6 works including The Last Supper and The Virgin on the Rocks. He left many projects and painting
Self Portrait 1512 unfinished and spent most of his time studying science and nature. He was paranoid that people would steal his ideas so, he collected his finding in notebooks that were written in codes.
After the French 1499 invaded he was left without a patron. He traveled through Italy and worked for many different employers, including the Cesare Borgia who was head of the notorious Borgia family. During his time with Cesare Borgia he traveled with the Borgia’s army as a military engineer and met Nicolo Machiavelli, who is the author of The Prince. Nicolo helped him receive the commission for the Battle of Anghiari in the Hall of Five Hundred and was on the opposite wall of his rival Michelangelo.
Leonardo supposedly began working on the Mona Lisa in 1503. Unfortunately the next year his father died, and his scheming 17 half siblings stole his share of their father’s inheritance. When his uncle died he was able to beat out his his siblings and ended up with his uncle’s land and money. He then went to Rome in 1513 and did projects for the Pope. He continued to study anatomy, but was forbidden by the Pope from dissecting cadavers.
In 1516 he was offered the title of Premier Painter and Engineer and Architect of the King by King Francis I. It was a nice job and he was given money and a nice house. He suffered from paralysis of the right hand, but it did not keep him from his projects. During his time in France he painted The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and did studies on cats, horses, and the nature of water, and sketches of machines. Until he died on May 2, 1519 he worked extremely hard on his goal to learn everything there was about how nature worked.
Leonardo was very important to the Renaissance. He is considered the father of modern science and the perfect Renaissance man. He was also one of the greatest painters of all time He was a self taught genius and was a master in more fields than anyone. He understanding of things and designs were ahead of his time.
His most famous paintings are the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. They are good paintings, but what makes them famous are the backgrounds. The backgrounds were what draws you to these paintings. The main image of the painting are ordinary things, a woman and a depiction of Jesus and his disciples eating for the last time. Both had been painted multiple time. Leonardo wanted to know what was happening behind the scenes. He painted the backgrounds very complex and showed a glimpse at what was happening behind the scenes with.
He was the first person to dissect cadavers to see how the human body worked. Other artist dissected corpses to to better their art rather than to gain knowledge. He also designed the vitruvian man. It was his idea of what the perfect man should be based off of symmetry and proportions of Roman architecture. He realized that a human man could be transcribed in a circle and a square. The vitruvian man brought together art, architecture, human anatomy and symmetry in one image.
He designed submarines, flying machines, and tanks. He diagrammed the anatomy of a human body almost completely accurately. These are just some of the great things that Leonardo did to advance science. The scientific revolution was built on the foundation of his work and studies. The scientific revolution marked the end of the Renaissance because people rejected the biblical science of the Middle Ages and wanted to see how the world worked for themselves.