Leonardo Da Vinci Facts
- Leonardo da Vinci born April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519
- Da Vinci was an Italian polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, botanist and writer.
- Da Vinci is probably most famous for his painting the Mona Lisa - now on display in the Louvre, Paris.
- Da Vinci was commissioned to paint the Mona Lisa, but, he never handed the painting over, and never sold it. He carried it around with him for the last 20 years of his life.
- Da Vinci had a great interest in anatomy. He painted a simple sketch of the Vitruvian Man which shows the simple symmetry of man. It is also regarded as a cultural icon.
- Much of Da Vinci's investigations into human anatomy were lost, as cutting up human bodies was frowned upon in that decade. Some of Da Vinci's discoveries were not made re-invented for 200 years.
- Another famous painting was his last supper, depicting Christ's last meal with his disciples.
- Da Vinci made sketches and concepts for devises as diverse as a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, the double hull and outlined a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics.
- Leonardo was apprenticed to the artist Andrea di Cione, known as Verrocchio in Florence. He also spent time in Verona, Rome and France.
- A suggested tale is that Leonardo collaborated with his Master Verrocchio on his painting - the Baptism of Christ. Allegedly, Da Vinci's contribution of the young angel holding Jesus's robe was so far superior to his master's that Verrocchio put down his brush and never painted again.
- Da Vinci was a contemporary of Raphael and Michelangelo, though Da Vinci was born two decades before these. It was a period known as the High renaissance.
- Da Vinci was a vegetarian. He often bought caged birds in order to release them.
- The novelist Matteo Bandello observed Leonardo at work and wrote that some days he would paint from dawn till dusk without stopping to eat, and then not paint for three or four days at a time
- Da Vinci wrote extensive journals. As a left hander he devised a mirror-image cursive way of writing from right to left.
- He was a great inventor and created items from musical instruments, hydraulic pumps, reversible crank mechanisms, finned mortar shells, to a steam cannon.
- His political contempories included Lorenzo Medici (il Magnifico)
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