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LEONARDO DA VINCI

Leonardo da Vinci 15 April 1452 (Vinci, Republic of Florence) ; died 2 May 1519 (Amboise, Kingdom of France)

Bold use of color; innovative use of perspective; preoccupation with geometric shapes and interchange between light and shade; unusual composition

Leonardo da Vinci was a leading artist and intellectual of the Italian Renaissance who's known for his enduring works "The Last Supper" and "Mona Lisa."

Da Vinci received no formal education beyond basic reading, writing and math, but his father appreciated his artistic talent and apprenticed him at around age 15 to the noted sculptor and painter Andrea del Verrocchio, of Florence. For about a decade, da Vinci refined his painting and sculpting techniques and trained in mechanical arts. When he was 20, in 1472, the painters’ guild of Florence offered da Vinci membership, but he remained with Verrocchio until he became an independent master in 1478. Around 1482, he began to paint his first commissioned work, The Adoration of the Magi, for Florence’s San Donato, a Scopeto monastery.

Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the "Renaissance man", a man whose seemingly infinite curiosity was equalled only by his powers of invention. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. 

At the age of 20, da Vinci qualified for membership as a master artist in Florence’s Guild of Saint Luke and established his own workshop. However, he continued to collaborate with his teacher for an additional five years. It is thought that Verrocchio completed his “Baptism of Christ” around 1475 with the help of his student, who painted part of the background and the young angel holding the robe of Jesus. According to Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects, written around 1550 by artist Giorgio Vasari, Verrocchio was so humbled by the superior talent of his pupil that he never picked up a paintbrush again. Most scholars, however, dismiss Vasari’s account as apocryphal.
 

 

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