Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was born near Vinci, a hill village in Tuscany. His father took custody of him shortly after his birth, while his mother married someone else and moved to a neighboring town. They kept on having kids, although not with each other, and they eventually supplied him with a total of 17 half sisters and brothers. Leonardo had access to scholarly texts owned by family and friends. He was also exposed to Vinci’s longstanding painting tradition, and when he was about 15 his father apprenticed him to the renowned workshop of Andrea del Verrochio in Florence.
As an apprentice, Leonardo demonstrated his colossal talent. His genius seemed to have seeped into a number of pieces produced by the Verrocchio’s workshop from the period 1470 to 1475. One of Leonardo’s big breaks was to paint an angel in Verrochio’s “Baptism of Christ,” and Leonardo was so much better than his master’s that Verrochio allegedly resolved never to paint again. Leonardo stayed in the Verrocchio;s workshop until 1477 when he set up a shingle for himself. From that time he worked for himself in Florence as a painter. In 1478 he was commissioned to paint an altarpiece for the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Three years later he undertook to paint the ;Adoration of the Magi; for the monastery of San Donato a Scopeto. This project was interrupted when Leonardo left Florence for Milan about 1482. Already during this time he sketched pumps, military weapons and other machines.
In Milan, around 1510, Leonardo created ;The Virgin and Child with St. Mary; and was the fruit of much deliberation, as drawings and cartoons indicate. Leonardo never quite finished this panel, however, and kept it with him until he died. Painted in fine, translucent glazes with the under drawing showing through in some areas, it represents a culmination of his research into aerial perspective, which Leonardo codified in his notes for the ” Treaty of t


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