Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci: Facts, Paintings & Inventions

One of the greatest artists, sculptors, and polymaths in history, Leonardo da Vinci was a prominent figure in the Italian Renaissance and one of the most creative brains of all time. His innovations in art had a great impact on the work of his successors. Some of da Vinci’s notable masterpieces include Mona Lisa, Last Supper, The Virgin of the Rocks, The Vitruvian Man, etc.

Life of Leonardo da Vinci

leonardo da vinci

Leonardo da Vinci, (Italian: “Leonardo from Vinci”) was born on April 15, 1452, in Anchiano, near Vinci, Republic of Florence. Leonardo was raised on the estate of his father's family as a legitimate son. His father appreciated his artistic talent and apprenticed him at around age 15 to the noted sculptor and painter Andrea del Verrocchio of Florence.

Leonardo was most renowned for his dramatic and expressive paintings; However, Leonardo conceptualized several ideas and innovations such as the helicopter, the parachute, etc., and produced several precise maps, mill designs, and other innovations that were decades ahead of their time. 

Masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci

leonardo da vinci - The Mona Lisa
leonardo da vinci - the last supper
leonardo da vinci - The Vitruvian Man

The Vitruvian Man

This pen and ink artwork on paper, currently housed at the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, shows a male figure in two superimposed poses with his arms and legs spread and simultaneously drawn in a circle and square.

leonardo da vinci - Salvator Mundi

Salvator Mundi

It is one of the 21st century's most contentious paintings. The 26-inch ominous oil-on-panel painting shows a half-length figure of Jesus as the Saviour of the World, standing with his face to the viewer and wearing Renaissance-era attire. According to reports, the painting's current location is unknown.

leonardo da vinci - Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Although Leonardo da Vinci painted many self-portraits of himself, his self-portrait in Red Chalk is the most well-known of all his works, which was painted in 1512 using red chalk. It is currently housed in Turin's famous Biblioteca Reale.

leonardo da vinci - The Virgin and Child with St Anne

Scientific Studies and Inventions by Leonardo da Vinci

leonardo da vinci - Anatomy

Anatomy

Leonardo da Vinci developed a passion for topographic anatomy and drew countless studies of muscles, tendons, and other observable anatomical characteristics. He also researched the human body's interior organs, and he was the first to depict the human appendix, urinary tract, lungs, reproductive organs, mesentery, cervix muscles, and a precise cross-section of coitus.

leonardo da vinci - Engineering

Engineering

Leonardo was respected as an engineer both during and after his lifetime. He spent a large portion of his life fascinated with the phenomenon of flight. He also created models and drawings that demonstrated how to easily excavate and tunnel through mountains, as well as designs for mills, fulling machines, etc.

leonardo da vinci - Inventions in da Vinci’s Journal

Inventions in da Vinci’s Journal

The extensive range of themes covered in da Vinci’s Journal includes mechanics, a study for an underwater breathing device, concave mirrors, the design of mechanical organs, architecture, and bird flight, among others.

5 Interesting Facts About Leonardo da Vinci

He Had No Real Last Name: In the modern sense, Leonardo lacked a surname. He was born in the Tuscan village of Vinci and was given the full name Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci, which translates to "son of Piero from Vinci.”

He Was An Illegitimate Child: Leonardo was the son of Ser Piero, a Florentine lawyer, and Caterina, an unmarried peasant lady, and was born on April 14 or 15 of 1452 in a farmhouse outside the Tuscan village of Anchiano.

No Formal Education: Leonardo never attended school, despite being the author of some of the greatest inventions and ideas ever. But, he was taught to read, write, and calculate basic mathematics.

He was Left-Handed: Despite being left-handed, research has shown that Leonardo da Vinci was as skilled at writing and painting with his right hand. He used to mirror-write or write in reverse, which, when viewed in a mirror, seems normal.

Leonardo's Musical Talents: He believed that music and the visual arts were intimately intertwined because each relied on one of the five senses. He also played the flute and lyre, frequently giving performances at noble gatherings and in his customers' homes.

How Leonardo da Vinci Painted the Last Supper

  • During Leonardo's first prolonged visit to Milan, the duke of that city, Ludovico Sforza, commissioned the wall painting.
  • Leonardo experimented with a method for the Last Supper painting by applying tempera or oil paint to two layers of dry ground.
  • By placing the vanishing point directly behind Christ's right temple, Leonardo drew the viewer's attention to Jesus, at the center of the table.
  • The painting took almost 2 years to complete.

Frequently Asked Questions About Leonardo da Vinci

Q. Who was Leonardo da Vinci?

A. Leonardo da Vinci is a well-known Italian Polymath who excelled as an artist, engineer, sculptor, scientist, and architect.

Q. Why is Leonardo da Vinci famous?

A. Leonardo da Vinci has been hailed one of the most popular renaissance artist and his works are recognized and admired all over the world.

Q. What are Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpieces?

A. Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Self Portrait, The Vitruvian Man, Salvator Mundi, etc, are his masterpieces.

Q. What is Leonardo da Vinci's real name?

A. Da Vinci’s full name was Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci, which translates to "son of Piero from Vinci.

Q. When did Leonardo da Vinci paint the Last Supper?

A. Da Vinci started painting Last Supper in 1495.

Q. Who was Leonardo da Vinci’s Patron?

A. The Medici family was Leonardo da Vinci's very first patron.