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da Vinci, Leonardo [Florentine, 1452-1519] 

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da Vinci, Leonardo [Florentine, 1452-1519]


[ 16th Century Artists ]
portrait

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 first lecture, the second lecture, or in the entire lecture series.


  da Vinci, Leonardo [Florentine, 1452-1519]

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Title: Heads of Apostles (details)
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Title: The Last Supper (Italian: Il Cenacolo or L'Ultima Cena)
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Title: Bacchus
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Title: Perspectival study of the Adoration of the Magi
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Title: The Baptism of Christ
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Title: Title: Study Of Five Grotesque Heads
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File: 064_DaVinci_Last_Sup
Title: The Last Supper
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Title: Adoration of the Magi
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Title: Detail: The Last Supper
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File: 062_DaVinci_Madonna.
Title: Madonna Litta
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Title: Head of a girl
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Title: Saint John the Baptist
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Title: Adoration of the Magi
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Title: The Virgin of the Rocks (Madonna of the Rocks)
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File: 02-018d.jpg
Title: Detail: The Last Supper
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