Leonardo da Vinci
“The life of an artist”
Union City high school
Leonardo was a really creative man. Leonardo did lots of things during his lifetime. He
painted things appealing to him. He also sketched inventions that weren’t made until later
times. Leonardo wasn’t really known in the beginning of his life, but he was really
known for his artwork after he died. Leonardo was inspired by many things. He also liked
working with lots of things. Leonardo may have also been fascinated by triangles so
much he wanted to put them in mostly all of his paintings. The only thing about his
artwork and inventions is that he never finished anything.
Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1492. Leonardo died on May 2, 1519.
He was born in Vinci, Italy. Leonardo didn’t exactly finish school, but he did try to finish
his schooling in later years. He was buried in San Fiorentino in Amboise. He was raised
by a single father. He drew lots of plans for things that would end up helping in war.
While Leonardo was a child he never learned about love. So as Leonardo grew older he
didn’t really know how to love anyone. Things people may have realized was that he
liked the weirdest things about humans. A kind of interesting thing about him is that he is
left handed, but he could also use his right hand. Leonardo could use both of his arms
equally. Sometimes he would write down what jokes and riddles he wanted to share with
his friends. One thing Leonardo always did was trying to avoid all the drinking parties.
Lots of things inspired him like Paolo Del Pozzo Toscanelli, a physician and philosopher,
investigator of natural phenomena and a mathematician, which inspired him the most out
of everything else. Very early he started to use machinery. Soon he became more aware
of his knowledge of the principles of physics. He was devoted to studying nature. He also
dreamed of the end of the world being very cataclysmic. He philosophized about death.
The year of 1476 was very hard for him. The first money check on his account was in
March 1478 for 25 florins. Sometimes he would get mad that time was going to fast for
him. When he worked with the monks he got a cask of red wine. The arrogance of the
intellectual elite who did not like Il Magnifico and his contemporaries made him very
irritated. He also even tried showing he couldn’t be recognized in his own city for his
efforts. Leonardo never forgot that they refused to recognize his labors. He also knew he
could conduct his own research to learn about humanists. He also had and important
interview about laws he wrote one day to be used took place at the end of 1482 or at the
beginning of 1483. Also, he soon observed that of all the proposals, he laid before the
ruler of Milan, was those concerned with innovations that brought up the most interest.
To him all the fun and enjoyable times were all strange. At one point he kind of became
homeless because he rent any apartments or buildings to live in anymore. While he was
homeless he learned that Lombard artists met in groups for protection. There was a motto
used by Leonardo that said in English “Love conquers all things,” and in another
language that may be Latin it said “Amor onni cose Vince.” He also tried doing schooling
again for years while he was waiting to leave Pavia. While he was doing this he wrote a
long list of words from the dictionary of Luigi Pulci’s “Vocabolista.” He wrote
definitions down in his own words. Leonardo also made lists of nouns and verbs and
degrees. He also entered a competition for building a Cathedral building. People realized
something about Leonardo because of his technical discoveries gave them the idea he
was interested in mechanical inventions. Another thing he was very interested in was
construction of houses and churches. Leonardo urged artists to rely entirely on nature.
Also, after seeing a theatre he proposed to build a tomb for princes. He also may have
held lots of scripts with velvet covers in his hands. He remembered one of them to him it
was like a whole new world of research. At one time he had and apprentice that was a ten
year old named Giacomo, son of Giovanni Pietro Caprotti of Oreno.
Leonardo was a painter and an inventor, but the only thing about his inventions were was
that they were never made until later after he died. In his earliest paintings there was
signs he was a very good artist. When Leonardo was about 21 he drew his first landscape.
Leonardo did a self-portrait and in it he put every single detail that was on his face like
wrinkles and all of that in the portrait. In the very first sketches he ever made the faces
were all the same. Somewhere in his drawings he had isosceles triangles in them it didn’t
really matter they maybe where the arms were bent. Leonardo’s success began to show
when people started imitating his work. A sketch that was found that was made by him in
1478 has been said that it was a sketch for an angels head. The sketch was probably for
the painting he helped Verrocchio with. In the painting he painted the second angel. He
also worked on the theme of god for a while and he looked for the simple types of
shepherds he had. On lots of sheets of paper he sketched attitudes and facial gestures of
men when a supernatural thing was occurring. During the time Leonardo was making
stuff for war he made a memorandum which he handed to Lodovico Sforza. In this
memorandum he wrote about times of peace and that he had a project and that the project
was to make a monument for Francesco Sforza. Soon he started realizing that in Milan it
was hard life for the artists who live there during that period. He made a list of sketches
for himself and at the top he put “Many flowers drawn from nature.” In spring of 1483
the inspiration for him was the natural beauty of everything. He had signed a contract
with a fraternity called the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Ten years after he
signed the contract, which was for pictures, there was a problem and he took it to
Ambrogio de Predis and he sent a petition to Lodovico Sforza. Another thing about
Ambrogio de Predis is that he finished some of Leonardo’s sketches and groundwork for
things Leonardo was working on. Leonardo also had sketches of disasters and he put
mountain landscapes and rivers rushing between the mountains. His first vehicle could
probably only go a few yards. He invented a drum with a wheel trestle because drums
were popular back in his period. He also drew tools for moving soil. When he was doing
that he invented a machine for handling heavy rocks called a lifting grab. He waited for a
reason to use it though.
Leonardo was into warfare, so he drew sketches of things he thought they will need. One
of the things he sketched was a 3-wheeled gun. The 3-wheeled gun is a carriage with a
huge screw terminating in gigantic forceps which gripped the gun barrel. Leonardo was
devoted to the job for fixing the problems with machine parts. During this time he also
sketched guns. Soon he started sketching even better plans for warfare. Leonardo owed
his knowledge of military technique to his careful study witnessed by many extracts in
the MS B. In these military times he made methods of construction of very light and
strong bridges so that in war you can use them to get the enemies faster and he also knew
that he knows how to destroy the bridges as good as he made them. Leonardo also
sketched gangways that could be moved to use on towers. He also said he had methods of
destroying forts that are not built on rock. But one thing he didn’t have was details on
about how to move and stuff like that when rivals came. One thing he represented was an
operation of a bomb made with hemp and fish glue and tubes that were going to be
attached like spokes to a copper ball filled with a bottle. This was called a clotonbrot.
During this time one of things he was concerned about at all times was to make his
weapons of very inflammable material. He also made and knew the physical laws on the
use and possibilities of explosives. Leonardo made a memorandum and it was filled with
strange proposals he made. Another thing he had in mind for war was an armored car.
One of his projects he had was made in 1515 in Nuremburg; the project was a breech-
loading gun. While he was doing a study with these things of warfare he discovered
something by accident. The thing he discovered was steam. Leonardo drew something
that looked like a water vessel connected to a copper tube which was heated by a coal
fire. What it did is the water flowed into the red-hot tube and turned into steam, which
drove the ball out of the mouth of the tube. This is probably how he discovered steam.
Leonardo wrote “The Architronite is a copper engine invented by Archimedes, which
fires heavy iron balls with great force.” While doing all of these projects and sketches he
sketched an apocalyptic vision. The atmosphere had a peace sense and it was like he
wasn’t all there while drawing it and what it meant in reality. In years after he studied
gun-making he was attracted by general mechanical problems outside of the gun field.
For guns he decided to make a wagon. Leonardo also made the pistol, but he made it with
the Wheel lock. It became known in the public in 1517. Then they changed the wheel
lock to a matchlock until the end of the seventeenth century. The ideas he put in front of
the lord of Milan made them not have any confidence about the wagon and guns he
sketched and possibly made.
Leonardo had lots of paintings he did. All of his paintings aren’t finished. In his famous
altar piece “The virgin of the rocks” He studied the nativity scenes and different poses
and gestures of the mother and her infant probably in preparation for the main panel. In
his drawing of the “Benois Madonna” he may have had his stepmother with her first born
in her lap. The “Benois Madonna” made other artists want to draw it. So, that’s when his
success began to show is because everyone started imitating this painting. Leonardo
found other ways after to draw the “Madonna.” Leonardo was about 30 years old when
he painted the “Adoration of the Magi.” He also had a painting called the “Saint Jerome.”
The painting of “Madonna on the rocks” is suppose to be like a daydream someone has
laying down on the ground and looking up at the sky. In it he also drew an equilateral
triangle. In the painting of “Madonna Litta” Ambrogio de Predis colored the clothes that
Leonardo helped draw. Leonardo painted a portrait of Cecilia, Lodovico Sforza’s
daughter, when she was only about 17 years old. Cecilia is the sister of the “Mona Lisa.”
The one reason you may realize that the “Mona Lisa” isn’t done is because she isn’t
wearing any jewelry. Cecilia let Isabella d’Este compare the portrait done by Giovanni
Bellinis and she had altered completely because she was a lot younger when Giovanni
Bellinis did the first one. His painting of the “lady with the weasel” was taken over by the
Lombard school. The painting of the “lady with the weasel” Ambrogio de Predis helped
with this one too. One thing found was a pen drawing of the head of Christ. There are
seven sketches of “Saint Jerome in the Desert.” There are about eight sketches for “Saint
Sebastian” There is about four sketches for the later picture of “Angel of the
Annunciation.” There is one completed picture of the “Madonna.” There is one head of
the blessed virgin for the picture of the “Ascension.” There is one sculpture of
“Crucifixion in relief.” Leonardo drew “Mount Cepsis” in Ptolemy’s map of Asia. For a
sculpture, the perfect smoothness was all done by him. Also, in a notebook he had
instructions for what he wanted everything to look like. The architecture filled his every
thought. He was asked to help with the design of the “Saint Sophia at Constantinople.”
He made lots of sketches of this design. He was aware that they preferred the form of the
Some people thought Leonardo was kind of weird for wanting to study the senses and
stuff about the body. Leonardo began to think about stuff on the human mind understands
things. He also thought that signs are the best of all the senses of the human body. But, he
was very uncomfortable in the field of abstract thought. Leonardo wrote “The senses are
earthly; the reason stands outside them during contemplation.” In the classical school of
reason and will he put in those places memory and intellect. He devoted his leisure time
to the study of philosophy. But, Leonardo still didn’t yet have his intellectual confidence.
After reading a book that Fazio Cardano gave him called “The perspectiva communis of
John Peckham.” He wrote something after called “An introduction to perspective, that to
say to the function of the eye.” The lenses of the eye were his way into anatomy. He was
first to record the phenomena of irradiation. He also made a lamp to help him at night
with these studies.
Leonardo was very interested in making things, so he decided to make new cities and
towns. When he entered a competition for a Cathedral building he thought about making
cities out of the soil. Leonardo considered ways of using Lodovico Sforza’s life-
preserving fear in his plans. He said “that to have humanity go from capital cities is to
build ten towns and have five thousand houses to house more than 30,000 people. While
he talked about this he never left out the economic side. He wanted his towns on
riverbanks or seashores and he had the Ticino in mind. His cities in mind were for the
rich and aristocrats. There was going to be two cities right on top of each other. When he
wasn’t allowed to build the ten new cities he went and invented things to keep foul smells
Leonardo was many things in his life even if it was mostly art. He was an interesting man
with all of things he did like when he went back to school so he could do more since
artists weren’t known that much. Leonardo did have lots of art sketches that he didn’t
really have names for, but he still worked on them no matter whatever until he probably
got bored with them. He did lots of things for warfare too he invented things we can use
today because we put more into what he already had. We also have some of his paintings
still around they are in museums all around the world, but he did lots of paintings even
though he may not have finished them. Leonardo did like what he did even if people
thought it was weird because he still studied some more into the human body. He may
have wanted new cities, but that probably was only to make him famous. That’s really
only a few things there is probably more.
Facts about leonardo da vinci. Buzzle.com, 2000. Web. 3 Nov. 2009.
Leonardo da vinci (1452–1519). 2000. Web. 5 Nov. 2009. <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/leon/
Leonardo da vinci. New york city: Blue ribbon books, 1941. Print.
Leonardo da vinci quick facts. Microsoft, 2009. Web. 3 Nov. 2009.
Leonardo da vinci's life. 2009. Web. 4 Nov. 2009. <http://www.davincilife.com/>.
South wing- Leonardo. 2009. Web. 3 Nov. 2009. <http://www.leonardo.net/south.html#start>.