Leonardo da Vinci – Life and Works

Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most famous artists of the Renaissance. He was an incredibly prolific artist, leaving behind a vast array of works that encompass painting, drawing, architecture, engineering, and much more. His most renowned works include ‘The Last Supper’ and the ‘Mona Lisa,’ but he also created many other beautiful and captivating pieces.

No one has ever come into the world
who knew as much as Leonardo

Francis I

What is Leonardo da Vinci known for?

Leonardo was a genius who mastered several fields:

  • Constructions
  • Inventions
  • Architecture
  • Mathematics
  • Writer
  • Anatomy
  • Botany
  • Sculpture
  • Painter
  • Drawer
  • Musician (lyre player)
  • Singer

He also engaged in swimming and diving, which was unusual during this time in history.

Leonardo da Vinci’s major works

There are many well-known works to choose from in Leonardo’s repertoire, including:

  • Mona Lisa
  • The Last Supper
  • The Annunciation
  • Self-portrait (drawing)
  • The Vitruvian Man (see below)
  • Lady with an Ermine
  • Salvator Mundi
  • Madonna of the Grotto
  • Madonna and Child with St. Anne
  • Leda and the Swan

Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings

Many of da Vinci’s drawings were studies for paintings or analytical investigations of human anatomy.

The Vitruvian Man

The Vitruvian Man – The Renaissance Man

Leonardo’s ink drawing, the Vitruvian Man, comes from one of his many notebooks used in his later years. The drawing is accompanied by notes written in mirror writing about the ideal human proportions as outlined by the Roman architect Vitruvius in a book on architecture from the 1st century BCE. The drawing illustrates Vitruvius’ theory that the ideal human could fit within both a circle and a square, two incompatible forms. Leonardo resolved the concept by drawing a male figure in two superimposed positions—one with arms outstretched to fit within a square, and another with arms and legs spread in a circle. The work showcases not only Leonardo’s efforts to understand significant texts but also his desire to expand upon them. He wasn’t the first to illustrate Vitruvius’ concepts, but his drawing later became the most iconic, partly due to its combination of mathematics, philosophy, and art, making it a fitting symbol of the Renaissance.

The drawing is stored away in a climate-controlled archive at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice.

Study of Hands

Several surviving drawings show how the virtuoso draftsman Leonardo da Vinci mastered the anatomy’s structure using light and shadow and how he could complete a drawing by leaving many lines only faintly sketched. One senses the graceful movements of women in the way the hands are depicted.

What did Leonardo da Vinci invent?

Leonardo da Vinci was a brilliant inventor who sketched and outlined more than 13,000 pages of ideas for inventions. Many of his inventions were far ahead of their time, and some of them were only realized in the 19th or 20th centuries.

Here is a list of some of Leonardo’s most important inventions:

  • Flying Machines: Leonardo was one of the first individuals to seriously consider the possibility of flight. He drew and sketched over 20 different flying machines, including ornithopters, helicopters, and winged aircraft.
  • Vehicles: Leonardo also designed a range of vehicles, including a tank, an armored car, and a helicopter.
  • Machines: Leonardo also designed and sketched various machines, including a formula to calculate the area of a circle, a construction of an anchor, a wheelbarrow design, and a diving vehicle design.
  • Technology: Leonardo also sketched a variety of technological inventions, including a magnifying glass, a camera obscura, a telescope, a spyglass, and a printing press.

Among other of Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions, we see:

  • A magnifying glass
  • A telescope
  • A sailboat with smoother navigation
  • A windmill wheel
  • A burning tip

And this is just a small selection of the things Leonardo da Vinci invented. He was a true pioneer in science and technology, and his work has had a tremendous impact on the modern world. He was one of the earliest inventors, and his creations have had a significant influence on the modern world.

Leonardo da Vinci and the Golden Ratio

Leonardo attempted to demonstrate that the golden ratio underlies human proportions, among other things. He himself employed the golden ratio in many of his artworks. The golden ratio is a mathematical relationship between two lengths that makes them appear to be in perfect proportion to each other.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Life Story

Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452 in Vinci, a small town near Florence. His father was a notary, and his mother was a peasant woman. Leonardo grew up with his father and was educated at home. At the age of 15, he began studying art under one of the leading artists in Florence, Verrocchio. Andrea del Verrocchio is generally considered one of the greatest artists of his time.

In 1482, Leonardo was hired by the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, to work in his court. Over the next 17 years, Leonardo worked on numerous projects for the duke and his family. He created paintings, sculptures, architectural designs, machines, and much more.

He traveled around Italy, and in 1513, he arrived in Rome, where he met Pope Leo X. The pope hired Leonardo to paint a portrait of him, but it was never completed.

In 1516, Leonardo was hired by Francis I of France and moved to Château du Clos Lucé in Amboise. He worked there until his death in 1519.

Facts about Leonardo da Vinci

How old did Leonardo da Vinci live to be?

67 years

What was Leonardo da Vinci’s full name?

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci

When was Leonardo born?

Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452.

When did he die?

May 2, 1519

What were Leonardo da Vinci’s parents’ names?

Father: Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci
Mother: Catherine
The parents were not married.

How many paintings did Leonardo da Vinci create?

We do not know, but less than 20 are preserved.

Was da Vinci right-handed?

Leonardo was neither right- nor left-handed; he could use both hands equally well.

Where is Leonardo da Vinci buried?

Leonardo was buried in the chapel of the Church of Saint-Florentin in Amboise, but the church no longer exists, so the exact location of the grave is unknown.

Was Leonardo da Vinci homosexual?

Leonardo never married, and there are no known relationships with women. However, he was accused of homosexuality but later acquitted. Whether Leonardo was homosexual is not known, but there were and still are rumors about this.

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