Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci
   Tuscan painter, sculptor, scientist, and engineer, the oldest of the three most famous artists of the Italian Renaissance. He was also a polymath whose insatiable curiosity led him to investigate many aspects of his world. Born near the Tuscan town of Vinci, the son of a notary and a peasant girl, he was reared by his paternal grandfather and sometime before 1472 was apprenticed to the Florentine painter and sculptor Andrea Verocchio. His earliest surviving painting, an Annunciation, dates from 1473. Perhaps the best known of his early paintings is his portrait Ginevra de'Benci (ca. 1475). Leonardo left Florence around 1482 and by 1483 was in Milan, where he began the earlier version of his Virgin of the Rocks. He sought the patronage of the duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza; his letter applying for employment emphasized his skills as a civil and military engineer as well as his qualities as an artist. By 1489 he was at work on a huge equestrian statue of Ludovico's father, Francesco Sforza; many sketches survive in his notebooks, but the statue was never completed. His most famous painting of this period was the fresco The Last Supper, painted (ca. 1495-1497) for a monastery patronized by the Sforza dynasty.
   The fall of the Sforza from power ended Leonardo's stay in Milan. He travelled to several cities, including Mantua, where he made a portrait of the duchess Isabella d'Este. He then spent about two years in Florence, undertaking several projects but finishing little. Next he went to Rome, serving Cesare Borgia, the ambitious son of Pope Alexander VI, as an architect, engineer, and city planner. Returning to Florence in 1503 after the death of the Borgia pope, he was commissioned to produce a battle scene, The Battle of Anghiari, commemorating a great Florentine military victory of the preceding century. The painting has been completely destroyed, though copies by other painters survive. Leonardo also began his most famous portrait, the Mona Lisa, whose subject was the wife of a prominent Florentine citizen. In 1508 he completed the second version (the London version) of the Virgin of the Rocks. By 1508 he was frequently employed by the French governor of Milan. Another political upheaval at Milan forced him to renew his migrations, going first to Florence and then to Milan, but he completed few of the projects he undertook. In 1517 he accepted the invitation of the new king of France, Francis I, to move to the French court. He designed settings for court ceremonies and worked on plans for a new royal palace, but he died in 1519 without completing his French projects.
   Leonardo was constantly at work, not only on works of art but on scientific investigations of many kinds. Many of these are preserved in his voluminous notebooks, not published until centuries afterward but in themselves constituting a masterpiece in the art of drawing. The most numerous drawings were anatomical, often based on dissections. Leonardo was also interested in mechanical contraptions of all kinds. He made many drawings of flying machines and other machines including a horse-driven armored vehicle, a multi-barreled gun, and other military devices. His notebooks include studies in the science of optics, in mathematics, and in geology. His investigations of fossils, especially of marine shells found on mountain tops, caused him to speculate on geology and on the power of water to shape the earth.
   The price paid for Leonardo's many-sided interests was that he completed only a relatively small number of the paintings and statues he undertook, and of these, many have perished. Nevertheless, his rather few completed and surviving paintings are monuments of High Renaissance art at its peak. The scientific findings documented in his notebooks constitute a problem for historians of Renaissance science: the drawings are accurate and clearly prove that he knew scientific facts not "discovered" until later times, yet the notebooks were not published until centuries later, so that it remains questionable whether his discoveries had any significant impact on later scientific investigators.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Leonardo da Vinci — • Florentine painter, sculptor, architect, engineer and scholar (1452 1519) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Leonardo da Vinci     Leonardo da Vinci      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Leonardo da Vinci — (15. april 1452 2. maj 1519) maler, billedhugger, arkitekt, ingeniør, opfinder, botaniker og anatom Leonardo da Vinci betragtes som et klassisk renæssancemenneske og geni. Leonardo blev født i Vinci i Italien som søn af Ser Piero da Vinci, en… …   Danske encyklopædi

  • Leonardo da Vinci — Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 de abril de 1452 2 de mayo de 1519). Célebre renacentista italiano, arquitecto, escultor, pintor, inventor e ingeniero, el …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Leonardo da Vinci —   [ vintʃi], italienischer Maler, Bildhauer, Architekt, Kunsttheoretiker, Naturforscher und Ingenieur, * Vinci (bei Florenz) 15. 4. 1452, ✝ Schloss Cloux (heute Clos Lucé, bei Amboise) 2. 5. 1519. Als unehelicher Sohn des Notars Ser Pietro und… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Leonardo da Vinci — see DA VINCI Leonardo …   English World dictionary

  • Leonardo da Vinci — Leonardo da Vinci, s. Vinci …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Leonardo da Vinci — (spr. wintschi), ital. Maler, geb. 1452 in Vinci, einem Kastell bei Empoli, bis 1482 in Florenz tätig, trat um 1487 als Kriegsingenieur in den Dienst der Herzöge von Mailand, stiftete das. eine Malerschule, kehrte 1499 nach Florenz zurück, folgte …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Leonardo da Vinci — Leonardo da Vinci, großer italien. Maler, 1444 in der Nähe von Florenz geb., war einer der Ersten, welcher die Malerei wieder auf geregelte Grundsätze zurückführte. Er glänzte als ausübender Künstler auch im Fache der Poesie, Musik, Sculptur und… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Leonardo da Vinci — Leonardo da Vinci, einer der größten älteren ital. Maler, theils der florentinischen Malerschule angehörig, theils der lombardischen, welche letztere er gründete, geb. 1452 zu Vinci bei Florenz, widmete sich vielseitigen Studien. In der Malerei… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Leonardo da Vinci — (izg. leonȃrdo da lȋnči) (1452 1519) DEFINICIJA talijanski slikar, kipar, arhitekt, teoretičar umjetnosti, filozof, svestrani znanstvenik, analitičar ljudskog tijela, inovator, vizionar, jedan od najuniverzalnijih umova svih vremena i autor djela …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Leonardo da Vinci — Da Vinci redirects here. For other uses, see Da Vinci (disambiguation). Leonardo da Vinci Self portrait …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”