Florence Hotels Articles

July 22, 2010

A look at Leonardo da Vincis personal life

Considering that the great man died nearly 500 years ago, there is still a wealth of information and controversy about Leonardo’s personal life. The many mysteries of his work and everyday activities still persist, and other than his painting masterpieces and his genius for inventions, that is what continues to make him one of the towering figures in world history.

His beginnings showed no promise of what his life would become. Leonardo was the illegitimate result of a liaison between a wealthy Florentine attorney, Piero, and a teenage peasant girl, Caterina. The girl, a native of the Italian town of Vinci, gave birth secretly to the boy in 1452 at a midwife’s home in Anchiano. His father later claimed the child from what would have been a life of poverty, named him Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, and raised and tutored him at home.

Additionally, considering the enormous store of knowledge and intelligence Leonardo accumulated and exhibited throughout his life, he was undoubtedly a genius at quick study. As a boy, his insatiable need for knowledge found him at every spare moment experimenting and delving into everything. He studied the Bible, Greek classics, Roman philosophers, was fascinated by early inventor Archimedes, and absorbed all the mechanical and military lore available in his time.

After a short apprenticeship to artists in Florence, he began to receive lucrative commissions from such noblemen as Lorenzo di Medici and Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan. Leonardo spent nearly 20 years completing projects for his Milan patron, but also later did many other works in Florence, Rome and Paris.

In addition to paintings and murals he created for the Duke, he was also commissioned by his patron, who was often at war with surrounding Italian independent states, to design weapons. Later he become military engineer for the commander of the armies of Pope Leo X. When French invaders occupied Milan, Leonardo continued his engineering work for his new patron, the King of France.

Many of the Da Vinci military drawings that have survived to be studied by modern experts show his unusually brilliant concepts of what were to become wheeled artillery, underwater diving gear, a pedal-powered tank, parachutes and the helicopter.

What many consider his masterpiece to be, “The Last Supper”. It was an enormous mural, 15 by 29 feet, painted for the Duke from the year 1495 to 1499 on the dining room wall of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.

Related posts:

  1. Leonardo Da Vinci: Leonardo’s Animals Part 2 (of 2) ... from his deep love and respect for the animals he sketched and painted.

    In the mid 1480s, Leonardo moved from Florence to Milan. At that time, Milan...
  2. Biography: Leonardo da Vinci ... minerals, spices, egg yolk, and other materials to mix the paint.

    Leonardo soon became a master in the painters' guild of Florence in 1472, where he worked...

  3. The Real Da Vinci Code: What Really Happened at Leonardo’s Last Supper ... represent the other.

    6) Thomas, James and Philip are grouped together because they were the favorite apostles of Florence, Leonardo's home for several years.

    7) Thaddeus and Simon...

  4. Milan’s very own hero ... notary, Piero da Vinci, and a young woman named Caterina.
    Leonardo spent most of his life in Florence and Milan.

    In 1469 he was apprenticed...
  5. The Real Da Vinci Code: Leonardo Da Vinci is the Vitruvian Man ... period to Da Vinci's highly emotional rendition of the Battle of Alighieri in the hall where the council of Florence met.

    Leonardo is considered to be among the...

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress