Leonardo Da Vinci

Painter and much more

About him

Born: April 15, 1452 in Vinci, Italy

Died: May 02, 1519 in Amboise, France

Other Names: Leonardo di Ser Piero da Vinci; di Ser Piero da Vinci, Leonardo

Nationality: Florentine

Occupation: Artist

Early Life

Leonardo da Vinci was born in a farm house in Anchiano, 3 kilometres away from Vinci. Since this was before modern naming conventions in Europe, Leonardo's full name became "Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci" which simply means "Leonardo, son of Piero, from Vinci". However Leonardo da Vinci signed most of his work with his first name, presumably because he was an illegitimate child. It was often told that Leonardo drove his teachers crazy with all his questions.

Getting Involved

When he was 14, Leonardo moved with his father to Florence where he became an apprentice to painter Andrea del Verrocchio. Verrocchio was at this time the most gifted artist in Florence. He was a sculptor, painter, goldsmith, bronze caster and more. In Verrocchio's workshop, Leonardo da Vinci also met up with other famous artists Botticelli, Perugino and Lorenzo di Credi. Leonardo da Vinci got listed in the red book of painters from Florence in 1472, which meant that at that moment his apprenticeship was finished.

Choices & Results

Leonardo was trained to be a painter. But his interests and achievements spread into an astonishing variety of fields that are now considered scientific specialties. He studied anatomy, astronomy, botany, geology, geometry, and optics, and he designed machines and drew plans for hundreds of inventions.

Because Leonardo excelled in such an amazing number of areas of human knowledge, he is often called a universal genius. However, he had little interest in literature, history, or religion. He formulated a few scientific laws, but he never developed his ideas systematically. Leonardo was most of all an excellent observer. He concerned himself with what the eye could see, rather than with purely abstract concepts. Leonardo used drawings both as a tool of scientific investigation and as an expression of artistic imagination. He changed forever the art of drawing. He made drawings in much greater numbers than any artist before him, and he was one of the first artists to use sketches to work out his artistic and architectural compositions. Drawing was indispensable to Leonardo's processes of observation, creation, and invention. He also developed ambitious plans for canals as well as diving equipment for underwater exploration.

In His Words

"Learning never exhausts the mind."
" I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do." "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."


"Many of his inventions and scientific ideas were centuries ahead of his time. For example, he was the first person to study the flight of birds scientifically. Leonardo's importance to art was even greater than his importance to science. He had a strong influence on many leading artists, including Raphael and Michelangelo. Leonardo's balanced compositions and idealized figures became standard features of later Renaissance art. Painters also tried to imitate Leonardo's knowledge of perspective and anatomy, and his accurate observations of nature."

Words for him

"Leonardo Da Vinci combined art and science and aesthetics and engineering, that kind of unity is needed once again. Ben Shneiderman"
"The term 'renaissance man' is always bandied about. I don't think that applies to me. You think about Leonardo da Vinci, and he was a painter and a physicist and an architect, and that is a true renaissance man. Moby"


"Leonardo is considered one of the greatest thinkers in history, with interests and talents in many disciplines - art, architecture, science, engineering, anatomy, optics, aerodynamics, and so on. He was a keen observer of nature and rejected what was then the primary mode of seeking knowledge - studying the Bible and the writings of the ancient Greeks. Infinitely curious, Leonardo sought answers through careful observation, reasoning, and experimentation. Using his artistic skills, Leonardo produced meticulously detailed drawings based on his observations of anatomy - drawings that he believed to be of far greater scientific value than contemporary reports written, he lamented, "in tormentingly long-winded and confused styles." He added, "To keep my gift to mankind from being lost [to time], I teach the technique of reproducing things by printing." "Often hailed as the archetypal Renaissance Man, a creative genius equally adept at art, engineering, architecture, and invention, Leonardo da Vinci is still perhaps best known for paintings such as the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Though his artistic output was not great, his influence was, and his artistic breakthroughs in perspective and in shading quite literally changed the vision of future painters. Leonardo also wrote a treatise on art and left thousands of pages of drawings on architecture, the human face, botany, physics, engineering, cartography, and anatomy--a rich treasure trove which modern-day researchers still consult. The numerous notebooks Leonardo produced in his lifetime contain not only this wealth of drawing, but also an accompanying spider-like, mirror text that is still being translated five centuries after his death.

Annotated Bibliography

1) "Leonardo da Vinci." Authors and Artists for Young Adults. Vol. 40. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Biography in Context. Web. 3 May 2016. This source is reliable and had lots of information.

2)"Leonardo da Vinci." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Biography in Context. Web. 3 May 2016. This is a pictuce of Leonardo when he was still alive.

3) "Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci's Masterpiece, Circa 16th Century." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Biography in Context. Web. 3 May 2016.This is a real picture of one of Leonardo’s most famous paintings.

4) Renaissance futurist: Leonardo da Vinci." The Futurist May-June 1997: 25+. Biography in Context. Web. 3 May 2016.This gives a lot of facts about what he did.

5) "The Alliance of Science and Art in Early Modern Europe." Science and Its Times. Ed. Neil Schlager and Josh Lauer. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Biography in Context. Web. 3 May 2016. This gives information about the art Leonardo did and what else he discovered.

6) "Selected Websites on Leonardo da Vinci's Life and Works." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Biography in Context. Web. 5 May 2016.This website showed what he did and created throughout his life, it gave lots of facts.

7) Summers, David. "Last Supper, The." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 5 May 2016. This a real picture of one of his paintings

8) http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/benshneide174926.html?src=t_leonardo_da_vinci this website shows true quotes said by people about Leonardo

9) http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/leonardoda380288.html this website shows real things that Leonardo said.

10) "Leonardo da Vinci." International Dictionary of Art and Artists. Gale, 1990. Biography in Context. Web. 3 May 2016. This give a lot of Information about Leonardo.