Da Vinci

Learn About Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci stands as one of the most celebrated artist of the Renaissance period, and has rightly earned his spot as one of the most knowledgeable and gifted artist and scientist of all time. Born in the Tuscan hills, Leonardo showed an aptitude for art at an early age, and became an apprentice at the workshop of Verrocchio at the age of 14. Verrocchio was a famous painter and sculptor in Florence who taught Leonardo drafting, chemistry, carpentry and a number of other technical skills to help the young artist become a master of both science and art.

Leonardo Da Vinci created two of the most famous paintings of all time. The Last Supper is a mural painting on the wall of a monastarery in Italy. The painting depicts the twelve apostles and Jesus at their last meal together, reacting to his announcement that one of them will betray him. The Mona Lisa may be even more famous; the portrait is done in oil and displays the wife of a wealthy Florence merchant. The painting is one of the most studied paintings, due to the mysterious smile on the woman's face as well as the unique background, though the woman is sitting in a chair, the scene behind her is of an imaginary landscape. The Louvre Museum  provides a closer look at the painting.

Only a dozen or so paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci have survived through the ages, even The Last Supper has gone through several restorations, as age has faded the original picture. Leonardo was also notorious at leaving works unfinished, The Adoration of the Magi and St Jerome in the Wilderness are two such paintings. Leonardo's work is much admired because of his use of light and shadow to make realistic images and add depth to his paintings to make them appear three-dimensional.

Even though Leonardo Da Vinci remained more well known for being a painter for several centuries after his death, he left behind a larger body of work in drawing and scientific experiments. Through his sketches Leonardo explored, and invented ideas for architectural designs, such as doomed buildings. Leonardo also designed ideas for a parachute and helicopter. His designs for weapons included an idea for an armored tank.

Leonardo's' vast journals also contained sketches for many of his paintings. As well as detailed studies of emotions, hydraulics, nature, bones and skeletal systems, engineering, drapery and even ideas for musical instruments. His anatomy sketchbook includes the Vitruvian Man, which has become one of his most famous works as it depicts a naked man, inside a circle and square, used to study bodily proportions.

Adding to the uniqueness and genius of Leonardo Da Vinci is the fact that all his notebooks are written backwards, and need a mirror to decipher. Leonardo never limited himself to one area throughout his life as an artist he had the opportunity to sculpt, work on architectural projects and was employed as a civil engineer. 

Leonardo Da Vinci at the Museum of Science

Leonardo Da Vinci at Wikipedia

BBC Science & Nature Leonardo Picture Gallery  

BBC America Science and Nature Leonardo Drawings Gallery

Learning About Leonardo at Thinkquest.org

Web Gallery of Art - Leonardo Da Vinci

Mona Lisa at Wikipedia

Leonardo the Man his Machines

Leonardo Da Vinci at Encyclopedia Britannica

The University of California Museum of Paleontology Presents Info on Leonardo

Leonardo Da Vinci at Artchive

Leonardo at the National Gallery of Art

Leonardo Da Vinci at WebMuseum, Paris

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