|Leonardo da Vinci (born on April 15, 1452 near Florence and died on May 2, 1519, at Clos Lus near Amboise, Touraine, France) was a great Italian artist (painter, sculptor, architect) and scientist (anatomist, mathematician, physicist, naturalist), flamboyant representative of the "versatile person" type (Latin: homo universale) an archetype of the Italian “Renaissance man”. Having shown an ideal of the Renaissance "versatile person", Leonardo was reasoned in subsequent tradition as a person, who most vividly outlined a range of creative quests of an epoch. Leonardo da Vinci was the founder of Renaissance art and one of the most genius personalities ever to have lived and it would be very difficult to find such a personality in the entire history of mankind.
Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 in a hamlet Anchiano near Vinci, which is not far away from Florence. The son of a Florentine notary and peasant, and a pupil of Verrocchio in the field of painting quickly overtook his teacher. At first, Leonardo da Vinci lived and worked in merchant Florence, then in courtyards of various princes, everywhere offering grandiose plans and not finding good understanding in any place. Tired and disappointed, Leonardo da Vinci, in January 1516, accepted the invitation of King Francoise I of France to move to France and lived his last four years of life in Clos Lus (in Touraine) and completed his incomplete works.
In a modern sense, Leonardo had no surname; "Da Vinci" simply (by birth) means that he hails from the small town Vinci”. His full name was Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, that is “Leonardo, son of mister Piero from Vinci”.
1470 — Leonardo Da Vinci joins as an apprentice in the workshop of Verrocchio, a successful artist (Florence);
1472 — Master in the Guild of St Luke, Guild of Artists;
1472 — 1477 — Worked on: “Baptism of Christ”, “The Annunciation”, “The Benois Madonna”;
1482 — commissioned to the courtyard of Ludovico Sforza in Milan;
1487 — Design of flying machine — ornithopter, based on bird’s flying technique;
1488 — Painting “Lady with an Ermine”
1489 — Anatomic drawings of skull;
1490 — Painting “Portrait of a Musician”;
1495—1498 — Work on painting "The Last Supper”;
1502 — Joins the service of Cezare Borgia as an architect and military engineer;
1503 — Return back to Florence
1503 — Paintings “Battle of Anghiari (near Angiari)” and the “Mona Lisa”;
1505 —Codex on the Flight of Birds;
1506 — Returning back to Milan and serving the king Ludovico XII of France (At that time controlling North Italy)
1507 — Study about the structure of the human eye;
1509 — Painting “The Virgin and Child with St.Anne”;
1512 — “Self-portrait”;
1512 — Passage to Rome under the patronage of Pope Leo X;
1514—1516 — Work on the painting “John the Baptist”;
1516 — settling in France as court artist, engineer, architect and mechanic
The creator of "The Last Supper" and “La Gioconda” showed his worth even as a writer having realized early about the necessity of theoretical substantiation of an artist's practice: “Those who practice without knowledge is like seaman, who is on his way without a steering wheel and compass … practice should always be based on good theoretical knowledge”.
Demanding in-depth study of displayed items from artists, Leonardo da Vinci always recorded his observations in an organizer, which he carried it constantly. The outcome was an original intimate diary, the only one in world literature. Paintings, drawings and sketches have short notes concerning perspectives, architecture, music, natural sciences, military-engineering, etc.; entire things have various dicta, philosophical reasoning, allegories, jokes and fables. In aggregate, the records of these 120 books represent materials for a most extensive encyclopedia.
Leonardo, most likely, has not left any self-portrait, which could unambiguously be attributed to him. Scientists have doubted that the well-known red-chalk self-portrait Leonardo (traditionally dated to 1512—1515 years), depicting him in old age, is such a one. Many consider that probably it is only a sketch of the head of the apostle for "The Last Supper". Apprehensions, which rose in the 19th Century, about the self-portrait of the artist, were once again expressed recently by one of the experts studying the life of Leonardo, Professor Pietro Marani.
He masterly played the lyre. When Leonardo’s case was brought up in the court of Milan, he introduced himself as a musician but not as an artist or inventor.
Leonardo was the first to give an explanation for why the sky is blue in color. In the book “About painting” he wrote: “The sky is blue due to thickly illuminated air particles, which is located between the Earth and above darkness”.
Leonardo was ambidextrous — he could write with both the hands with an equal degree of comfort. People even say that Leonardo could write different texts with different hands simultaneously.
Leonardo was a vegetarian. The following words belong to him: “If a human being is striving for freedom, then why is he keeping the birds and animals in cages? The person, indeed, is a Tsar of wild animals; after all, human beings also brutally destroy them. We live killing the others. We are walking cemeteries! Since an early age, I refused meat”.|