Leonardo da Vinci
It was the period of the renaissance when Leonardo da Vinci was born on 15. April 1452. Leonardo was born probably in this farmhouse in Anchiano, which is 3 km away from Vinci. The family of Leonardo lived in this area since the 13th century.
The father of Leonardo da Vinci, Ser Piero, was a 25 years old public notary when Leonardo was born. In the same year when Leonardo was born Ser Piero married his first wife. He didn't marry the mother of Leonardo, because probably she was a daughter of a farmer. The mother of Leonardo was called Catarina. Her first name is all what we know today. Leonardo lived probably in Anchiano for five years until he settled to Vinci.
Vinci is a small town, placed at the foot of "Monte Albano", in the most wonderful place on earth the Tuscany in Italy .
1457 Leonardo moved to his grandfather from Anchiano to Vinci. From this time he was member of his fathers family, but he was never legitimated.
Ser Piero and his first wife didn't have children. Maybe this is the reason why Leonardo was integrated in the family of his father.
In Vinci Leonardo went to school. Vasari told that teachers of Leonardo da Vinci were despaired about all the questions and doubts of Leonardo. Leonardo learned at school to write, to read and to calculate. Also he was taught in geometry and Latin. Later Leonardo tried to improve his knowledge in Latin, because he thought that he didn't learn enough at school in Latin. Perhaps this is the reason why Leonardo did his notes in Italian.
Leonardo lived in Vinci until 1466. With the age of 14 Leonardo moved to Florence where he began an apprenticeship in the workshop of Verrocchio.
Leonardo started an apprenticeship in the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio 1466. Verrocchio was at this time the most gifted and manifoldest artist in Florence . He was a sculptor, painter, goldsmith, bronze caster and more. There is no doubt that Verrocchio had much influence on Leonardo. Verrocchio was fascinated by the drawings of the young Leonardo and so he gave him a place in his workshop. Leonardo worked at the workshop of Verrocchio with some other famous artists like Botticelli, Perugino and Lorenzo di Credi.
This picture from Lorenzo di Credi shows Andrea del Verrocchio.
Leonardo started his apprenticeship with the mixing of colors and then he painted simple parts of paintings. There are no works of Leonardo known between 1466 and 1472, but Leonardo taught himself to paint in oils at this time. This art practice was developed by dutch artists.
The picture shows Florence at the time of Leonardo.
In June 1472 Leonardo was listed in the red book of painters from Florence (Campagnia de Pittori). With the membership in the painters guild of Florence ended the apprenticeship of Leonardo. The picture shows a cut of this book where Leonardo is listed with his native name Lionardo.
Leonardo didn't leave the workshop of Verrocchio at the end of his apprenticeship.
The first known and dated work of Leonardo da Vinci is a pen-and-ink drawing of the Arnovalley. Leonardo drew it on 5. August 1473.
The picture shows this drawing.
It shows the ingenious mind of Leonardo, because he drew the landscape in a way that it could be real. Nobody else before did it in this way.
It is supposed that Leonardo had his own workshop between 1476 and 1478, ecause he got two orders during this time.
The picture shows a sketch from 1478. You can see a youth, who seem to be related with the Leonardo-angel from the Baptism of Christ. Also visible are some mechanical elements.
The conclusion is that Leonardo already made mechanical studies at this early time.
A remarkable event happened on 8. April 1476. At this time it was usual to put anonymous accusations in a wooden box (called tamburo), which was put up in front of the Palazzo Vecchio.
On 8. April Leonardo and four others were accused. The anonymous person accused Leonardo to have a homosexual affair with Jacopo Saltarelli, who was a model. The procedure ended for all participants with an acquittal of the charge.
This story is an indication of the supposed homosexuality of Leonardo da Vinci.
Leonardo da Vinci created the left/left painting 1478. Remarkable is the beauty of the virgin and the attentive facial expression of the child, who looks at the flower.
This madonna painting is one of two, which Leonardo painted at this time. The second one, a madonna with a cat, doesn't exist, but a sketch from Leonardo exists in the British Museum (left/right).
Around 1481 and 1482 Leonardo started with the painting called The Adoration of the Kings. The painting was an order to decorate the church St. Donato Scopeto. This painting was never finished, because Leonardo offered his services to the Duke Lodovico il Moro from Milan before he finished the painting. Leonardo painted only the brown ground. He created especially for this work a few sketches (see bellow !). It seems that all creatures in this painting are being alive and that is the style of Leonardo.
1482 Leonardo traveled to Milan.
King Francis I. invited Leonardo da Vinci to spend the last span of life in Amboise at the court of France. In autumn 1516 Leonardo arrived in Amboise . In his baggage was the famous painting Mona Lisa.
Leonardo lived in Amboise in the small castle Cloux which is now called Le Clos Luce. This castle is situated between the town and the king castle.
In France Leonardo didn't paint, but he made hydrological studies. This picture shows the Leonardo plaque in Amboise .
Leonardo died on 2 May 1519 in Amboise . At this time Leonardo da Vinci was 67 year old. His state of health was not the best, because Leonardo had a paralysis on the right side of his body since 1517 and Vasari told about an illness some weeks before Leonardo died.
On 23 April 1519 Leonardo wrote his last will.
Vasari told the legend that King Francis I. immediatly came to Amboise when he heard about the near end of Leonardo da Vincis life. This painting from Cesare Mussini (1929), which you can admire in the Galleria dell´Academia in Florence , shows this last meeting. It is only a legend, because King Francis I. was on 1 May 1519 in St. Germain en Laye and so he couldn't be in Amboise one day later.
The Chapel of St. Hubert is the last resting place of Leonardo da Vinci.
Originally Leonardo was buried in the heart of the king castle in the cloister of San Fiorentino. After destruction of the church and parts of the castle the mortal remains of Leonardo da Vinci were transferred to the Chapel of St. Hubert.