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.”
Born on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, Italy, Leonardo da Vinci was concerned
with the laws of science and nature, which greatly informed his work as
a painter, sculptor, inventor and draftsmen. His ideas and body of work
which includes “Virgin of the Rocks,“ “The Last
Supper,“ “Leda and the Swan“ and “Mona Lisa“
have influenced countless artists and made da Vinci a leading light of
the Italian Renaissance.
Born out of wedlock, the love child of a respected notary and a young
peasant woman, he was raised by his father, Ser Piero, and his stepmothers.
At the age of 14, da Vinci began apprenticing with the artist Verrocchio.
For six years, he learned a wide breadth of technical skills, including
metalworking, leather arts, carpentry, drawing and sculpting. By the age
of 20, he had qualified as a master artist in the Guild of Saint Luke
and established his own workshop.
Da Vinci has been called a genius and the archetypal Renaissance man.
His talents inarguably extended far beyond his artistic works. Like many
leaders of Renaissance humanism, he did not see a divide between science
and art. His observations and inventions were recorded in 13,000 pages
of notes and drawings, including designs for flying machines (some 400
years before the Wright brothers' first success), plant studies, war
machinery, anatomy and architecture. His ideas were mainly theoretical
explanations, laid out in exacting detail, but they were rarely
experimental. His drawings of a fetus in utero, the heart and vascular
system, sex organs, and other bone and muscular structures, are some of
the first on human record.
One of da Vinci's last commissioned works was a mechanical lion that
could walk and open its chest to reveal a bouquet of lilies. The famous
artist died in Amboise, France, on May 2, 1519. Da Vinci's assistant
and perhaps his lover, Francesco Melzi, became the principal heir and
executor of his estate.
From October of 1916 through January of 1917, Rudolf Steiner gave a series
of nine lectures known as the Art Course. These lectures were given
the title of:
The History of Art.
Click here to discover what Steiner said about Leonardo in the
or in the entire