Leonardo da Vinci – Biography of Leonardo da Vinci

The famous artist named Leonardo di Ser Piero da Vinci, known simply as Leonardo da Vinci, was born in Anchiano, Italy, on April 15, 1452, known for being an architect, sculptor, painter, inventor, physicist, astronomer, geologist, geometrician, botanist, alchemist, visionary inventor, mechanical engineer, the man of the Renaissance par excellence.

Since he was a child, the artist shows his aptitudes for the plastic arts, mainly drawing, since he had a great capacity for observation, which has been worth not only to his artistic work but also to other subjects. Physics, mechanics, music and naturalism have also figured in his studies.

Leonardo grows up with his father in Florence, standing out from the children of his age for his advanced thinking. His first sketches were of excellent quality, allowing him to become an apprentice to the painter Andrea del Verrocchio when he was only fourteen years old. And having experience, time and his natural artistic gifts, he set up his own workshop as an independent painter in Florence.

Da Vinci keeps his private life particularly in reserve, going to the extreme of writing his diaries using a form of basic encryption, the man claimed to have a lack of interest in the physical relationships involved in human procreation, comments that have been interpreted by Freud as indicative of a homosexual libido. In addition, it was added to this reflection that the artist was constantly surrounded by attractive young people during his life.

From the year 1482 Leonardo worked for the Duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza, while he maintained his own workshop, in which several apprentices worked. The duke is one of the beings who have been personally amazed by all the knowledge that Leonardo mastered, such as painting, drawing, mechanics, military engineering and natural sciences. He also distinguished himself with his own style in building sculptures in marble, bronze, or terracotta, as well as small cannons, the laying of roads, and the construction of pontoons. Such has been his skill in his work that in one of his works, the Italian artist used 70 tons of bronze to make cannons for the Duke in an attempt to save Milan from the French under the reign of Charles VIII of France in 1495.

When the year 1506 arrives, Leonardo meets Count Francesco Melzi, fifteen years old, the son of an aristocrat from Lombardy, who had a great good looks; but After stormy scenes of jealousy, Salai accepts a new arrangement in his relationship with Leonardo, and the three carry out several tours through Italy.

Leonardo remains in Milan for a long time, until he has a problem finding French archers using his full-scale clay model of the horse as a practice target for shooting, which is why he leaves the city moving to Mantua, ending after several more inconveniences again in Florence by the end of April 1500.

The most important work of the Milanese period have been the two versions of the “Virgin of the Rocks”, in which the artist applies the triangular composition scheme that encloses the Virgin, the Child, Saint John and the Angel, and on the other hand , and here Da Vinci uses the sfumato technique for the first time.

Then, in the following two years he works on his masterpiece “The Last Supper”, which was a mural painting for the refectory of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in which the artist manages to reflect a recreation of a traditional theme in a way brand new.

Also during this long stay in Milan, Leonardo has made other paintings and drawings, such as theater sets, architectural drawings and models for the dome of the city’s Cathedral.

At this time his greatest commission arises, the colossal bronze equestrian monument of Francesco Sforza, Ludovico’s father, for its location in the courtyard of the Sforzesco castle, and here Leonardo has worked for 16 years.

And it is at this time that after the invasion of Milan by the French troops, Leonardo is forced to return to Florence to work as a military engineer, years in which he has performed multiple dissections, improving and perfecting his knowledge of anatomy.

He has been a member of the commission of artists in charge of deciding on the proper location of Michelangelo’s David in Florence, and has served as an engineer in the city’s war against Pisa, where he meets Machiavelli, the author of “The Prince”, who helps him get the commission to paint “The Battle of Anghiani”.

Soon after, the artist goes on to live another period in his life, where Leonardo paints several portraits, from which the only one that has been preserved emerges “Mona Lisa”, the most famous in the entire history of painting also known as ” La Gioconda “, when the model was identified as Lisa Gherardini, Francesco del Giocondo’s wife.

After a few years, the artist lives for three years in Rome, under the patronage of Giuliano de ‘Medici, a relative of Pope Leo Diez, where he deals mainly with scientific and technical experiments, having the sole prohibition of dissecting corpses.

Later, when Giuliano de Medici died, Da Vinci accepted the invitation of the King of France to move to his court of Fontainebleu, as “First Painter, Engineer and Architect of the Kingdom”, and there he devoted himself to the realization of architectural studies for the royal castles.

The Italian artist spends his last years at the Ch√Ęteau de Cloux, where he died on May 2, 1519, at the age of 67, in the arms of the King of France himself.

Other characteristic pictorial works of the author are:

(1476) Benci’s Gin
(1503) The Battle of Anghiari
(1483) The Virgin of the Rocks
(1495) Paris
(1510) The Virgin, the Child Jesus and Saint Anne
(1515) Saint John the Baptist