Leonardo DaVinci Biography
Artist Leonardo DaVinci is the quintessential Renaissance
man. His enduring genius left its mark on many disciplines and continues to inspire
wonder in modern audiences. Born in the Tuscan village of Vinci in 1452, Leonardo's limited
formal training began with an apprenticeship in the studio of Andrea Verrochio around 1472. Early in
his career, Leonardo developed a highly inventive style and boldly experimental techniques
that set the standard for the High Renaissance.
Leonardo's innovations, including the introduction of Classical monumentality and balance
to painting, his use of pyramidal composition and a delicate technique of tonal modeling he
labeled sfumato, highlight the astonishing range of his creative genius. Relatively few
works indisputably attributed to the master's hand have survived and fewer still were ever
completed. Among the ten paintings he completed are two of the most famous paintings in
history: the "Last Supper" and the "Mona Lisa." The enigmatic smile of the "Mona Lisa" has
intrigued audiences for centuries and held special significance for Leonardo; he never
parted with the painting, and it was listed among his effects when he died in 1519.
Leonardo's extraordinary notebooks reveal his pre-occupation with a multitude of diverse
subjects and brim with brilliant observations and highly detailed drawings of an extraordinary
range of topics from anatomy to weaponry. As a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and
scientist, Leonardo's reputation brought him into the most powerful circles of 15th and 16th century
Italian and French courts. Regarded as the founder of the High Renaissance, Leonardo's works
have stood the test of time, transforming the nature of are and inspiring artists and
viewers alike for over five centuries.
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