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Leonardo Da Vinci

Italian  •  Renaissance  •  1452 − 1519

Leonardo da Vinci is not only the painter of the world?s most famous religious paintings; he is also an engineer, scientist, mathematician, sculptor, inventor, philosopher, architect and one of the most brilliant thinkers of his time. read more

Only a few men can surpass the genius of da Vinci - he possesses the same level of brilliance as Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton themselves. Da Vinci is the creator of the most famous woman on a painting - the Mona Lisa, as well as the most famous drawing of a man - the world-renowned Vitruvian Man. His paintings, ?Madonna and Child? and ?The Last Supper? are some of the world?s most famous religious paintings. Da Vinci?s works, inventions and theories continue to affect our lives with each passing day, and they will do so in the generations and centuries to come. Born in Florence, da Vinci never received any formal education growing up, but his powerful mind was able to learn the fundamentals of mathematics, art and other subjects by sheer observation and through informal teachings of the people around him. The artist began sketching, drawing and painting at a very young age. When he was 14, he was awarded an apprenticeship with Andrea del Verrocchio. After producing his initial works, da Vinci was invited to work for the Duke of Milan, a man impressed by the artist?s skills. He commissioned da Vinci to create a bronze horse statue called the ?Gran Cavallo?, but the project fell through when the French attacked the city. The sketches of how the horse would have been built and how it would have looked after construction still exist to this day. Eventually, da Vinci was getting commissioned to do paintings, sculptures, and other works of art for the city?s noblemen and religious bodies. During his short time in Rome, which started as 1513, da Vinci was regarded as one of the greatest artists of his time, along with his rivals Michelangelo and Rafael. The two artists were his fierce rivals, and they were recorded to criticize and bicker at each other quite often. As a matter of fact, da Vinci is the man to blame for the change in location of Michelangelo?s David. In Rome, da Vinci was commissioned to do several artistic undertakings and he lived a financially comfortable life, although it was a very busy one. Da Vinci himself took in several apprentices to help him with his work. Da Vinci was a man who put a premium on the strength of his moral character. He regarded nature as divine objects, and stayed a vegetarian his whole life. He studied nature extensively, and along with his works of art were almost 15,000 pages of drawings and notes about engineering. Da Vinci was obviously a man well ahead of his time. He designed inventions such as the robot and some medical equipment that until present are too difficult to materialize even for 21st century technology. He also invented several contraptions that helped human fly, such as the glider, the parachute and a design for the helicopter. Little is known about his personal life, and his sexuality was always a topic of mockery and prodding. Though there have been records of homosexuality, da Vinci?s preference remains a mystery up to this day.

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