He was born in 1452 in the Tuscan village ofVinci. Italy was then a patchwork of city-states like Florence, Venice and smallrepublics as fiefs under the power of princesor the pope. The Eastern Roman Empire fell in1453 and, the Holy Roman Empire, was aviolent time in which, however, thesplendor of the courts had no limits.
He started drawing mythical beasts ofhis own invention, inspired bya profound observation of the naturalenvironment in which it grew.His father allowed him, whenLeonardo was fourteen yearsto enter as an apprentice in theworkshop of Andrea del Verrocchi,
Leonardo made his studies of anatomy and aknowledge of Latin and Greek in the workshopof Antonio Pollaiuollo.In 1482 he moved to Milan, offering his servicesto Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, Milan hadgone as ambassador of Florence, in the plan ofthe Medici of Florence dissemination of art as asource of prestige and cultural propagandatool. In Milan he spent 17 years working invarious projects of all kinds, both artistic andscientific, in which the desire to experiencethe primary objective.
After the invasion of Milan by Frenchforces, returns to Florence, improved theirknowledge of anatomy, was commissioned todecorate a room in the Council Chamber, neverfinished. In 1506 he returned to Milan and thefollowing year entered the service of Louis XIIIof France, who worked as a painter andengineer. Between 1513 and 1516 in Rome, butaware that it can not compete withMichelangelo accepted the invitation of FrancisI of France and moved there, and died in thecastle of Cloux, near Amboise, in 1519.
His personal life is largely a mystery, just havecome indications of their habits, tastes ordefects. It is known that it was strictlyvegetarian, from his letters and writings onanatomy, which calls omnivores "eaters ofcorpses." It also seems fairly established thatLeonardo was homosexual, suffered persecutionfor this and was about to face the Inquisition.Its always managed to elude guards the publictrial in other cases ended with the burning atthe stake of the alleged culprits. In anycase, Leonardo remained unmarried andchildless.He died on 2 of May in 1519 in Cloux.
The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo daVinci circa 1487. It is accompanied by notes based on the work of thefamed architect, Vitruvius. The drawing, which is in pen and ink onpaper, depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with hisarms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle andsquare.It is stored in the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, Italy.
Lady with an ermine is a painting byLeonardo da Vinci, from around 1489–1490. The subject of the portrait isidentified as Cecilia Gallerani, and wasprobably painted at a time when she wasthe mistress of Lodovico Sforza, Duke ofMilan, and Leonardo was in the service ofthe Duke.It is currently displayed in the WawalCastle, Krakow, Poland.
The painting, thought to be a portrait ofLisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco delGiocondo, is in oil on a poplar panel, andis believed to have been painted between1503 and 1506.It was acquired by KingFrancis I of France and is now theproperty of the French Republic, onpermanent display at the Musée du Louvrein Paris.The ambiguity of the subjectsexpression, frequently described asenigmatic, the monumentality of thecomposition, the subtle modeling of formsand the atmospheric illusionism werenovel qualities that have contributed tothe continuing fascination and study ofthe work.
It is a little less than life-size, carved out of a single blockof marble. Michelangelo made itwhen he was only 23 for aFrench cardinal living in Rome.Now it is in St. Peter’s Basilica.It is the only statueMichelangelo ever put his nameon.