Discover some other popular persons who live / lived in Italy.
Italian polymath whose areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, poetry, and cartography. He has been variously called the father of paleontology, ichnology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute, helicopter and tank, his genius epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal.
At the time of his birth, Leonardo’s parents were not married. His father, Ser Piero, was a Florentine notary and landlord while his mother, Caterina, was a young peasant girl. Leonardo spent his childhood on the estate of his father, as his legitimate son, receiving the basic education of those times: reading, writing and arithmetic. He only learned Latin, the foundation of the traditional education, much later, on his own. Also, he never penetrated the core of higher mathematics (geometry and advanced arithmetics) until his thirties, when he started to study them diligently and insight.
In 1482, Leonardo leaves for Milan to enter in the service of the duke. This was actually surprising if you consider that the thirty years old artist had just received an order for his first far-reaching works in his native Florence: “Adoration of the Magi”, an unfinished panel for the San Donato a Scopeto monastery, and a painting that he didn’t start for the church altar of the Saint Bernard Church in the Palazzo della Signoria.
His gentle but retained nature and nice behavior made him very popular at the Duke’s court. Being highly valued, people always asked paintings and sculptures from his and was charged with organizing the royal balls. He has also served as a counselor in architecture, fortifications and military matters, but also as a hydraulic engineer and solved mechanical engineering problems. Leonardo has imposed endless goals throughout his entire life.
In his 17 years of stay in Milan, Leonardo carried out six compositions. According to recent reports, he would have received an order for three more compositions, which either disappeared or weren’t even made.
In December 1499 or January 1500, after the victorious French entrance in Milan, Leonardo leaves the city accompanied by mathematician Lucas Pacioli. After a short stay at Mantova in February, he went to Venice, where the Signoria asks for his support to prevent a possible Turkish invasion in Friuli. Leonardo advises them to prepare the flooding of the threatened region. From Venice, he returns to Florence, where, after a long absence, is enthusiastically received and honored as honorary citizen of the city. In that same year, Leonardo is named expert architect in a commission appointed to investigate the damage suffered by the foundation and structure of the San Francesco al Monte church. He is hosted by the Servite Order at the Santissima Annunziata Monastery, where he seemed to be preoccupied with mathematics rather than painting, according to the story told by Fra Pietro Nuvolari to Isabella D’Este, who was trying in vain to obtain a composition belonging to the artist.
In 1503, Leonardo also received an order for a fresco in the council hall of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, a historical scene of monumental proportions (7 x 17 m), which is twice the size of “The Last Supper”. For three years he worked at the “Battle of Anghiari”, but the painting remained unfinished, like Michelangelo’s “Battle of Cascina”, which was meant to be its pair. In these years, he also paints “Mona Lisa” (about 1503-1506).
His anatomical studies acquire new dimensions thanks to collaboration with Marcantonio della Torre, a renowned anatomist from Pavia. Leonardo initiates the plans for a general work that would include not only accurate and detailed reproductions of the human body and organs, but also comparative anatomy and complete physiology studies. Da Vinci was going to finish the anatomy manuscript until the winter of 1510-1511. In addition, his manuscripts abound in studies of mathematics, optics, mechanics, geology and botany. In his research, he feels more and more convinced that force and motion as basic mechanical functions, give rise to all the external forms of organic and inorganic nature and establish them. Moreover, he believed that these forces are in accordance with oredered and harmonious laws.
A splendid map of the “Pontine Marshes” suggests that Leonardo met at least the position of consultant in a project of rehabilitation of Giuliano de Medici, commissioned in 1514. He has also drawn up blueprints for a spacious residence that was to be built in Florence for the Medici, who seized power in 1512. However, the residence wasn’t built.
Probably suffocated by this landscape, Leonardo, aged 65, agreed to enter into the service of young French King, Francis I. At the end of 1516, Leonardo da Vinci leaves Italy forever with his faithful disciple, Melzi. The last three years of his life he spends in the small castle of Cloux, near the royal summer palace at Amboise, on the Loire Valley. He was proudly wearing the title of “Premier peintre, architecte et mechanicien du Roi” (“First painter, architect and engineer of the King”). Leonardo continues to make sketches for proms, but the King had considered him an honored guest and offered him total freedom. A few decades later, Francis I talking about Leonardo with sculptor Benvenuto Cellini, using only words of praise and appreciation.
Leonardo painted very little in France, preferring to appoint and to draw his scientific studies, treaties on painting and several pages of anatomy treaty. “Visions of the end of the world” or “The flood”, describes with waste of imagination the primordial forces that dominate nature, letting his pessimism to emerge.
He died in Cloux and was buried in the palace-church of Saint Florentine. The church was devastated during the French Revolution and during the early 19th century was devastated to the ground. Today, the place of da Vinci’s tomb is unknown. Melzi inherited all of Leonardo da Vinci’s artistic and scientific estate.
Discover some other popular persons who live / lived in Italy.
He is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. He is known mainly for composing many instrumental concertos, for the violin and a variety of other instruments, as well as sacred choral works and more than forty operas. His best known work is a […]
Verdi was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him, becoming one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history. His […]
Was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Considered to be the greatest living artist during his lifetime, he has since also been described as one of the greatest artists of all time. Despite making few forays beyond the […]
Was an Italian Renaissance historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer. He has often been called the founder of modern political science. He was for many years a senior official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is renowned in […]
Was an Italian general, politician and nationalist who played a large role in the history of Italy. He is considered, with Camillo Cavour, Victor Emmanuel II and Giuseppe Mazzini, as one of Italy’s “fathers of the fatherland”. Garibaldi was a central figure in the Italian Risorgimento, since he personally commanded and fought in many military […]
Was an Italian astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician who played a major role in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. He has been called the “father of observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, and the “father of science”. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, […]
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