The Life of Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci mostly described as the archetype of the renaissance, is an icon of great art presentation having been an Italian painter, scientist, cartographer, writer, musician among other things. He is considered a man of diverse talent, a great painter of all time and had great power in invention that he used to quench his thirst of curiosity. He was born at a place known as Vinci in a region of Florence being an illegitimate son of Piero da Vinci and Caterina. He worked in many places including Venice, Rome and Bologna and his last years were spent in France. Much of Leonardo early life is known to have been spent in Milan in the service of Ludovico IL Moro.

Leonardo began his first painting lessons at a tender age in renowned Florentine painter Verrocchio studio. Leonardo Da Vinci has produced great master pieces of art from his great painting skills and his paintings the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper are among the most reproduced and most famous portraits and religious paintings of all time. Among his famous drawings is the Vitruvian Man that is regarded as a cultural icon having been reproduced in many fields in the world today. Leonardo was not left out in scientific experimentations too having done many controversial experiments such as conceptualizing a concentrated solar power, helicopter, a calculator and outlined an elementary plate tectonics theory. He played an important role in advancing scientific knowledge in many scientific fields such as optics, hydrodynamics and anatomy.

The 1490 and 1530 is considered the period of high renaissance. Italian art led by several renowned artists Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo did spectacular artistic works that were viewed as balanced, calm and idealized and did a great work in integration of Greek philosophy, Science and Christian theology in the cities of Venice, Rome and Florence. Leonardo innovative lifestyle was greatly influenced by his optimistic belief in the individual capability to understand the interesting phenomenon of the physical world and strong curiosity in the same.      

There is scanty information about Leonardo early life. It is known that he spent few years in the home of his mother and later lived in the household of his father in Vinci. He was able to receive informal education in mathematics, Latin and geometry at an early age. He was later apprenticed to a renowned artist Verrocchio in Florence whose workshop was considered one of the best then where he was exposed to several theoretical and technical skills that included sculpting, painting and drawing among other many skills. Leonardo then collaborated with Verrocchio in great works such as the famous Baptism of Christ painting. He is also considered to have been a model in Verrocchio’s top works such David’s bronze statue in the Bargello and many others.

At an early age of 20, Leonardo was able to qualify as a master in the Guild of St. Luke, an extraordinary qualification considering his age. He continued to collaborate with Verrocchio in many works producing a spectacular drawing of Arno valley in which he used pen and ink in this drawing. Leonardo was a charming person and attracted the company of many people though he remained fundamentally solitary. He was never married and formed few friends over the course of his life.

When Leonardo reached thirty years of age, he began service at the Duke of Milan where he served for around seventeen years. He began work primarily as a military engineer but later was involved in court painting, being a sculptor and architect too. Leonardo was also a musician and satirist, entertaining the court in many occasions. He was involved in design too having designed costumes and scenery for pageants. It is during this period that Leonardo did paintings that became most famous in the world among them The Last Supper. He also started keeping notebooks which became his great legacy too. His artistic works that comprised of a great number of notes recorded in notebooks and drawings superbly fused art and natural philosophy. Leonardo’s notes were generated and maintained in his daily life and travels, and captured the continual observations that he made of the world around him. His many drawings and notes display a massive range of Leonardo’s preoccupations and interests. His notes captured in original loose papers of different sizes and types were distributed by his friends significantly finding their way into important collections for instance the Royal library located at Windsor castle and many other important collections around the world. The notes are annotated in a mirror writing widely thought to be secretive and drawn in a meticulous detail manner. His notes filled with studies of mechanical devices and human anatomy showed his great investigative and creative capabilities.   

Leonardo Da Vinci played a significant role in invention of the concept of photography. He is known to be one of the first persons to present a concise description of the camera obscura which is an optical gadget similar to a human eye that has the ability to capture light images.

Leonardo did several research drawings in which he predicted several twentieth century technological developments such as aircrafts, armored tank and the parachute. He later fled Milan to Venice after it became prey to French invaders in the year 1499. He later went to Florence where he produced the painting Mona Lisa considered one of his great works. Leonardo later became disillusioned as none of his inventions and ideas became a reality and were depicted in his last notes and this led him to leave several of his paintings unfinished and destroyed others in the process. Through his spectacular works, his fame grew and was offered a house and several honors by a French king where he lived in his old age and later died in 1519.                                

Order now

Related essays