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Leonardo da Vinci Biography
Transcript of Leonardo da Vinci Biography
4. Old Life
6.Common Painting Themes
9. Rating of Significance
Table of Contents
Leonardo da Vinci was
born on April 15, 1452 in Vinci,
Republic of Florence, and passed
away on May 2, 1519 in Amboise,
Touraine. He was the illegitimate son
of Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da
Vinci, who was a wealthy legal notary
and Caterina, who was a peasant.
Leonardo da Vinci lived his first five years with his mother in the hamlet, Anchiano. He then left to stay with his father, grandparents and uncle in Vinci. By the time Leonardo was twenty in 1472, he was known to be a master in the Guild of St. Luke, which was especially for artists and doctors of medicine. He was then able to set up his own workshop. Though his father was not very close to him and quite strict, Leonardo’s uncle, Francesco who ran the family farm, favored him.
This is a photograph of the Saint Luke's
Guild before it was destroyed in 1879
Leonardo was educated in:
However, the education was informal.
In 1466, when Leonardo was fourteen, he was apprenticed to the artist, Andrea di Cione (Verrocchio).
There, he was exposed to many technical skills including drafting, chemistry, metallurgy, metal working, plaster casting, leather working, mechanics and carpentry as well as the artistic skills of drawing, painting, sculpting and modeling.
In addition, he never attended university, or learned how to properly read classical texts, therefore allowing him to find answers by observing and drawing his own conclusions.
Many are familiar with da Vinci, as he was an incredibly accomplished Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer. As a result of this, Leonardo da Vinci is portrayed by many as a man with an exceptional amount of curiosity and imagination. Though da Vinci created many works of art, he was known to never finish his pieces, as he had new interests throughout his projects.
Ever since Leonardo da Vinci was a young man, his talent for drawing was easily portrayed. While being an apprentice in Verrocchio, Leonardo was asked to paint an angel for the Baptism of Christ, in order to help complete the painting Verrocchio had started. As a result of his painting dominating the work of his master, Verrocchio put his paintbrush down and never touched it again.
Leonardo was given his first independent commission, to paint an altarpiece in January 1478 for the Chapel of St Bernard in the Palazzo Vecchio and The Adoration of the Magi in March 1481 for the Monks of San Donato a Scopeto. However, he completed neither of them.
In Milan between 1482 and 1499 da Vinci was to paint the Virgin of the Rocks for the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception, and The Last Supper for the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
This is the Baptism of Christ
This is the Virgin of the Rocks
This is the Last Supper
This is Leonardo da Vinci's self portrait
This is Andrea di Cione
The Last Supper
In Milan during the 1490s, Leonardo’s most famous painting was The Last Supper. It strongly portrays the emotions of the disciples, as Jesus explains that he will be betrayed by one of them. Leonardo chose to have the disciples using the same type of tables, plates, glassware and tablecloth as the monks used, giving the impression that they were eating right alongside the others in the hall.
This is Vinci
This is the Adoration of the Magi
Upon returning to Florence in 1500, Leonardo was provided with a workshop where he created The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist out of charcoal and black and white chalk on eight sheets of paper glued together.
This is the Virgin and Child with St. Anne ans St. john the Baptist
During the year 1503, Leonardo returned to the Guild of St. Luke in Florence, where he painted the mural, The Battle of Anghiari, while Michelangelo painted the sister piece, The Battle of Cascina.
This is the Battle of Anghiari
This is the Battle of Cascina
Mona Lisa (la Gioconda)-During the years 1503-1507, Leonardo da Vinci created the Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa is a portrait of the wife of a merchant named Francesco del Giocondo. It was completed using oil paints and Leonardo used the method of smudging the paint (called sfumato) near the end of the lips and the corner of the eyes to fool the viewer. Mona Lisa’s eyes seem to follow the viewer no matter his/her position.
This is the Mona Lisa
In 1482, Leonardo produced many projects for Ludovico il Moro(Ludivico Sforza), the Duke of Milan, such as, preparation of floats and pageants for special occasions, designs for a dome for Milan Cathedral and a model for a huge equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza, Ludovico's ancestor.
da Vinci studied flight
quite thoroughly, beginning
from the structure of birds and
bats. However, he never
created one. His sketches for
a flying machine were called
This is an Ornithopter
This is a War Tank
Leonardo created the first war tank that could be moved by human hands using cranks or pulled by horses. In addition, da Vinci also made slingshots, crossbows and other weapons. Furthermore, he invented a catapult which was much easier to load than a gun at his time.
This resulted in Leonardo to soon be able to dissect human bodies and create many theories and drawings of what he had found. His dissecting began in Florence then Milan and lastly Rome. Da Vinci had many notes regarding the skeletal and muscular structure in the human body, including how it allowed the body to move. Also, he studied the many internal organs and as well as the effects of aging in the human emotion. Lastly, he compared the anatomy of various animals, such as cows, birds, horses and frogs to the human anatomy using his drawings.
In order to win Cesare Borgia’s patronage, Leonardo da Vinci created a map in 1502, which were very rare at the time. It was of Imola, in north-central Italy that belonged to Cesare Borgia. This allowed for Leonardo’s patron to have a better overlay of land, therefore giving him a better strategic position.
This is Imola
In the year 1516, Leonardo joined the service of the Francis I, the king of France. He became the “first painter, architect, and engineer to the king.” In addition, Leonardo still performed many tasks, such as producing plans for festivals and plays. Although he was still able to do this, Leonardo had a hard time doing this, as his right hand was partially paralyzed. On May 2, 1519, Leonardo passed away at the age of 67 in Amboise, Touraine.
This is King Francis I
Leonardo gave the painting a three-dimensional effect like no other artist had ever before achieved at that point in time, by not giving objects in the picture a sharp outline, but letting the subjects flow together through the use of shadows.
Leonardo used the technique of smudging the paint (called sfumato) near the end of the lips and the corner of the eyes to fool the viewer in the Mona Lisa. Her exact expression confuses the observer, changing as he/she moves his eyes over the portrait, and this makes the subject almost seem to be alive.
Furthermore, Leonardo used his knowledge of science within his paintings in order to create a more realistic piece.
Common Painting Themes
Leonardo da Vinci’s common themes for his paintings were mostly on religious or semi-religious subjects. However, he created portraits as well.
Firstly, da Vinci provided many of his pupils and other artists with his discovered techniques, such as giving his pieces a three dimensional effect and perspective. Secondly, his new found knowledge in the sciences resulted in many others to know more about the anatomy of various creatures, why and how things work and the new inventions that he has created.
Rating of Significance of Contribution in Present Day Society
If I were to rate the significance of Leonardo da Vinci’s contribution in present day society based on how it has affected our worldview, I would give him a 10/10. This is a result of many factors, such as the fact that he set an example and standard for future generations. For example, with his humanist thoughts on how important the human being can be and the great outcomes that can be achieved. Leonardo allowed painters even until now the opportunity to create wonderful pieces of art using his techniques. In addition, using his theories and notes, we are able to have a large variety of knowledge in modern day society, with the sciences, including anatomy, engineering, cartography and many others.
Leonardo da Vinci provided the world with many legacies. His great works of art for instance, such as the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. In addition, Leonardo left behind many of his notebooks and sketches, in which people even in today’s society can refer to in order to increase their knowledge. He also allowed his inventions to be recreated and modified, so that they can be improved to further benefit others.
By Thersa Salcedo