Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Ashley Waggoner Denton

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci ( Italian pronunciat[leoˈnardo da vˈvintʃi] pronunciation (help·in; April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519,Old Style) was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. [2According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote". Marco Rosci states that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time. [3] Born out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, in Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service ofLudovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice, and he spent his last years in France at the home awarded him by Francis I. Leonardo was, and is, renowned primarily as a painter. Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most [4] famous and most parodied portrait and The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of [1] all time, with their fame approached only by Michelangelo'sThe Creation of Adam. Leonardo's drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro coin, textbooks, and T-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings have survived, the small number because of his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination. [nb 1Nevertheless, these few works, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, compose a contribution to later generations of artists rivalled only by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo. Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised flying machines, [6] a tank, concentrated solar power, an adding machine, and the double hull, also outlining a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime, [nb but some of his smaller inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire, entered the world of [nb 3] manufacturing unheralded. He made important discoveries inanatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics, but he did not publish his findings and they had no direct influence on later science. [7] Contents [hide] • 1 Life o 1.1 Childhood, 1452–66 o 1.2 Verrocchio's workshop, 1466–76 o 1.3 Professional life, 1476–1513 o 1.4 Old age, 1513–19 • 2 Relationships and influences o 2.1 Florence: Leonardo's artistic and social background o 2.2 Personal life o 2.3 Assistants and pupils • 3 Painting o 3.1 Early works o 3.2 Paintings of the 1480s o 3.3 Paintings of the 1490s o 3.4 Paintings of the 1500s o 3.5 Drawings • 4 Observation and invention o 4.1 Journals and notes o 4.2 Scientific studies o 4.3 Anatomy o 4.4 Engineering and inventions • 5 Fame and reputation • 6 See also • 7 Footnotes • 8 References • 9 Bibliography • 10 External links Life See also: Leonardo da Vinci's personal life Childhood, 1452–66 Leonardo's childhood home inAnchiano Leonardo's earliest known drawing, the Arno Valley (1473), Uffizi Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452 (Old Style), "at the third hour of the night" [nb 4in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci, in the lower valley of the Arno River in the territory of the Medici-ruled Republic of [9] Florence. He was the out-of-wedlock son of the wealthy Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, a Florentine legal notary, and Caterina, a peasant. [8][10][Leonardo had no surname in the modern sense, "da Vinci" simply meaning "of Vinci": his full birth name was "Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci", meaning "Leonardo, (son) of (Mes)ser Piero from Vinci". The inclusion of the title "ser" indicated that Leonardo's father was a gentleman. Little is known about Leonardo's early life. He spent his first five years in the hamlet of Anchiano in the home of his mother, then from 1457 he lived in the household of his father, grandparents and uncle, Francesco, in the small town of Vinci. His father had married a sixteen-year-old girl named Albiera, who loved Leonardo but died young. [11When Leonardo was sixteen his father married again, to twenty-year-old Francesca Lanfredini. It was not until his third and fourth marriages that Ser Piero produced legitimate heirs. [12] Leonardo received an informal education in Latin, geometry and mathematics. In later life, Leonardo recorded only two childhood incidents. One, which he regarded as an omen, was when [13] a kite dropped from the sky and hovered over his cradle, its tail feathers brushing his face. The second occurred while exploring in the mountains. He discovered a cave and was both terrified that some great monster might lurk there and driven by curiosity to find out what was inside. [11] [14] Leonardo's early life has been the subject of historical conjecture. Vasari, the 16th-century biographer of Renaissance painters, tells of how a local peasant made himself a round shield and requested that Ser Piero have it painted for him. Leonardo responded with a painting of a monster spitting fire which was so terrifying that Ser Piero sold it to a Florentine art dealer, who sold it to the Duke of Milan. Meanwhile, having made a profit, Ser Piero bought a shield decorated with a heart pierced by an arrow, which he gave to the peasant. [15] The Baptism of Christ (1472–1475)—Uffizi, by Verrocchio and Leonardo Verrocchio's workshop, 1466–76 In 1466, at the age of fourteen, Leonardo was apprenticed to the artist Andrea di Cione, known asVerrocchio, whose workshop was "one of the finest in Florence". [16Other famous painters apprenticed or associated with the workshop include Domenico Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Botticelli, [11][17] and Lorenzo di Credi. Leonardo would have been exposed to both theoretical training and a vast range of technical skills [18]including drafting, chemistry, metallurgy, metal working, plaster casting, leather working, mechanics and carpentry as well as the artistic skills of drawing, painting, [19][nb 6] sculpting and modelling. Much of the painted production of Verrocchio's workshop was done by his employees. According to Vasari, Leonardo collaborated with Verrocchio on his The Baptism of Christ, painting the young angel holding Jesus' robe in a manner that was so far superior to his master's that Verrocchio put down his brush and never painted again. [20On close examination, the painting reveals much that has been painted or touched-up over the tempera using the new technique of oil paint, with the landscape, the rocks that can be seen through the brown mountain stream and much of the figure of Jesus bearing witness to the hand of Leonardo. [21Leonardo may have been the model for two works by Verrocchio: the bronze statue of David in the Bargello and the Archangel Raphael in Tobias and [10] the Angel. By 1472, at the age of twenty, Leonardo qualified as a master in the Guild of St Luke, the guild of artists and doctors of medicine, [nb 7but even after his father set him up in his own workshop, his [11] attachment to Verrocchio was such that he continued to collaborate with him. Leonardo's earliest known dated work is a drawing in pen and ink of the Arno valley, drawn on August 5, 1473. [nb 8][17] Professional life, 1476–1513 The Adoration of the Magi, (1481)—Uffizi Florentine court records of 1476 show that Leonardo and three other young men were charged with sodomy but acquitted. [10][nFrom that date until 1478 there is no record of his work or even of his whereabouts. [22]In 1478 he left Verrocchio's studio and was no longer resident at his father's house. One writer, the "Anonimo" Gaddiano claims that in 1480 Leonardo was living with the Medici and working in the Garden of the Piazza San Marco in Florence, a Neo-Platonic academy of artists, poets and philosophers which theMedici had established. [10In January 1478, he received his first of two independent commissions: to paint an altarpiece for the Chapel of St. Bernard in the Palazzo Vecchio and, in March 1481, The Adoration of the Magi for the monks of San Donato a Scopeto. [23] Neither commission was completed, the second being interrupted when Leonardo went to Milan. In 1482 Leonardo, who according to Vasari was a most talented musician, [24]created a silver lyre in the shape of a horse's head.Lorenzo de' Medici sent Leonardo to Milan, bearing the lyre as a gift, to [25] secure peace with Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. At this time Leonardo wrote an often-quoted letter describing the many marvellous and diverse things that he could achieve in the field of engineering and informing Ludovico that he could also paint. [17][26] Leonardo worked in Milan from 1482 until 1499. He was commissioned to paint the Virgin of the Rocks for the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception and The Last Supper for the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie. [27]In the spring of 1485, Leonardo travelled to Hungary on behalf of [28][not in Ludovico to meet Matthias Corvinus, for whom he is believed to have painted a Holy Family. citation given] Between 1493 and 1495 Leonardo listed a woman called Caterina among his dependents in his taxation documents. When she died in 1495, the list of funeral expenditures suggests that she was his mother. [29] Study of horse from Leonardo's journals – Royal Library, Windsor Castle Leonardo was employed on many different projects for Ludovico, including the preparation of floats and pageants for special occasions, designs for a dome for Milan Cathedral and a model for a huge equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza, Ludovico's predecessor. Seventy tons of bronzewere set aside for casting it. The monument remained unfinished for several years, which was not unusual for Leonardo. In 1492 the clay model of the horse was completed. It surpassed in size the only two large equestrian statues of the Renaissance, Donatello's Gattemelata in Padua and [17][nb Verrocchio's Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice, and became known as the "Gran Cavallo". 10]Leonardo began making detailed plans for its casting; [17]however, Michelangelo insulted Leonardo by implying that he was unable to cast it. [11]In November 1494 Ludovico gave the bronze to be used [17] for cannon to defend the city from invasion by Charles VIII. At the start of the Second Italian War in 1499, the invading French troops used the life-size clay model for the "Gran Cavallo" for target practice. With Ludovico Sforza overthrown, Leonardo, with [30] his assistant Salai and friend, the mathematician Luca Pacioli, fled Milan for Venice where he was employed as a military architect and engineer, devising methods to defend the city from naval attack. [11On his return to Florence in 1500, he and his household were guests of the Servite monks at the monastery of Santissima Annunziata and were provided with a workshop where, according to Vasari, Leonardo created the cartoon of The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist, a work that won such admiration that "men and women, young and old" flocked to see it "as if they were attending a great festival". [31][nb 11] Leonardo da Vinci's very accurate map of Imola, created for Cesare Borgia. In Cesena, in 1502 Leonardo entered the service of Cesare Borgia, the son of Pope Alexander VI, [30] acting as a military architect and engineer and travelling throughout Italy with his patron. Leonardo created a map of Cesare Borgia's stronghold, a town plan of Imola in order to win his patronage. Maps were extremely rare at the time and it would have seemed like a new concept. Upon seeing it, Cesare hired Leonardo as his chief military engineer and architect. Later in the year, Leonardo produced another map for his patron, one of Chiana Valley, Tuscany, so as to give his patron a better overlay of the land and greater strategic position. He created this map in conjunction with his other project of constructing a dam from the sea to Florence, in order to allow a supply of water to sustain the canal during all seasons. Leonardo returned to Florence where he rejoined the Guild of St Luke on October 18, 1503, and spent two years designing and painting a mural of The Battle of Anghiari for the Signoria, [30with [nb 12] Michelangelo designing its companion piece, The Battle of Cascina. In Florence in 1504, he was part of a committee formed to relocate, against the artist's will, Michelangelo's statue ofDavid. [35] In 1506 Leonardo returned to Milan. Many of his most prominent pupils or followers in painting either [11] knew or worked with him in Milan, including Bernardino Luini, Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio and Marco d'Oggione. [nb 13However, he did not stay in Milan for long because his father had died in 1504, and in 1507 he was back in Florence trying to sort out problems with his brothers over his father's estate. By 1508 Leonardo was back in Milan, living in his own house in Porta Orientale in the parish of Santa Babila. [36] Old age, 1513–19 From September 1513 to 1516, under Pope Leo X, Leonardo spent much of his time living in the Belvedere in the Vatican in Rome, where Raphael and Michelangelo were both active at the [36] [23] time. In October 1515, Francis I of France recaptured Milan. On December 19, Leonardo was present at the meeting of Francis I and Pope Leo X, which took place in Bologna. [11][37]Leonardo was commissioned to make for Francis a mechanical lion which could walk forward, then open its chest to reveal a cluster of lilies. [39][nb In 1516, he entered François' service, being given the use of [nb 15] the manor house Clos Lucé near the king's residence at the royal Château d'Amboise. It was here that he spent the last three years of his life, accompanied by his friend and apprentice, [36] Count Francesco Melzi, and supported by a pension totalling 10,000 scudi. Clos Lucéin France, where Leonardo died in 1519 Leonardo died at Clos Lucé, on May 2, 1519. Francis I had become a close friend. Vasari records that the king held Leonardo's head in his arms as he died, although this story, beloved by the French and portrayed in romantic paintings by Ingres, Ménageotand other French artists, as well as [nb 16] by Angelica Kauffman, may be legend rather than fact. Vasari states that in his last days, Leonardo sent for a priest to make his confession and to receive the Holy Sacrament. [41In accordance with his will, sixty beggars followed his casket. [nb 1Melzi was the principal heir and executor, receiving as well as money, Leonardo's paintings, tools, library and personal effects. Leonardo also remembered his other long-time pupil and companion, Salai and his servant Battista di Vilussis, who each received half of Leonardo'svineyards, his brothers who received land, and his [nb 18][42] serving woman who received a black cloak "of good stuff" with a fur edge. Leonardo da Vinci was buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert in Château d'Amboise, in France. Some 20 years after Leonardo's death, Francis was reported by the goldsmith and sculptor Benevenuto Cellini as saying: "There had never been another man born in the world who knew as much as Leonardo, not so much about painting, sculpture and architecture, as that he was [43] a very great philosopher." Relationships and influences Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, (1425–1452) were a source of communal pride. Many artists assisted in their creation. Florence: Leonardo's artistic and social background Florence, at the time of Leonardo's youth, was the centre of Christian Humanist thought and culture. [16Leonardo commenced his apprenticeshipwith Verrocchio in 1466, the year that Verrocchio's master, the great sculptor Donatello, died. The painter Uccello, whose early experiments with perspective were to influence the development of landscape painting, was a very old man. The painters Piero della Francesca and Fra Filippo Lippi, sculptor Luca della Robbia, and architect and writer Leon Battista Alberti were in their sixties. The successful artists of the next generation were Leonardo's teacher Verrocchio, Antonio Pollaiuolo and the portrait sculptor, Mino da Fiesole whose [44] lifelike busts give the most reliable likenesses of Lorenzo Medici's father Piero and uncle Giovanni. [45][46][47] Leonardo's youth was spent in a Florence that was ornamented by the works of these artists and by Donatello's contemporaries, Masaccio, whose figurative frescoes were imbued with realism and emotion and Ghiberti whose Gates of Paradise, gleaming with gold leaf, displayed the art of combining complex figure compositions with detailed architectural backgrounds. Piero della Francesca had made a detailed study of perspective, [48and was the first painter to make a scientific study of light. These studies and Alberti's Treatise [49]were to have a profound effect on younger artists and in particular on Leonardo's own observations and artworks. [44][46][47] Massaccio's "The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden" depicting the naked and distraught Adam and Eve created a powerfully expressive image of the human form, cast into three dimensions by the use of light and shade, which was to be developed in the works of Leonardo in a way that was to be influential in the course of painting. The humanist influence of Donatello's "David" can be seen in Leonardo's late paintings, particularly John the Baptist. [44][45] Small devotional picture by Verrocchio, c. 1470 A prevalent tradition in Florence was the small altarpiece of the Virgin and Child. Many of these were created intempera or glazed terracotta by the workshops of Filippo Lippi, Verrocchio and the prolific della Robbia family. [44Leonardo's early Madonnas such as The Madonna with a carnation and The Benois Madonna followed this tradition while showing idiosyncratic departures, particularly in the case of the Benois Madonna in which the Virgin is set at an oblique angle to the picture space with the Christ Child at the opposite angle. This compositional theme was to emerge in Leonardo's later paintings such as The Virgin and Child with St. Anne. [11] Leonardo was a contemporary of Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Perugino, who were all [45] slightly older than he was. He would have met them at the workshop of Verrocchio, with whom they had associations, and at the Academy of the Medici. [11]Botticelli was a particular favourite of the Medici family, and thus his success as a painter was assured. Ghirlandaio and Perugino were both prolific and ran large workshops. They competently delivered commissions to well-satisfied patrons who appreciated Ghirlandaio's ability to portray the wealthy citizens of Florence within large religious frescoes, and Perugino's ability to deliver a multitude of saints and angels of unfailing sweetness and innocence. [44] The Portinari Altarpiece, by Hugo van der Goes for a Florentine family These three were among those commissioned to paint the walls of the Sistine Chapel, the work commencing with Perugino's employment in 1479. Leonardo was not part of this prestigious commission. His first significant commission, The Adoration of the Magi for the Monks of Scopeto, was never completed. [11] In 1476, during the time of Leonardo's association with Verrocchio's workshop, the Portinari Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes arrived in Florence, bringing new painterly techniques from Northern Europe which were to profoundly affect Leonardo, Ghirlandaio, Perugino and others. [45In 1479, the Sicilian painter Antonello da Messina, who worked exclusively in oils, traveled north on his way to Venice, where the leading painter Giovanni Bellini adopted the technique of oil painting, quickly making it the preferred method in Venice. Leonardo was also later to visit Venice. [45][47] Like the two contemporary architects Bramante and Antonio da Sangallo the Elder Leonardo experimented with designs for centrally planned churches, a number of which appear in his journals, as both plans and views, although none was ever realised. [45][50] Lorenzo de' Medici between Antonio Pucci and Francesco Sassetti, with Giulio de' Medici, fresco by Ghirlandaio Leonardo's political contemporaries were Lorenzo Medici (il Magnifico), who was three years older, and his younger brother Giuliano who was slain in the Pazzi Conspiracy in 1478. Ludovico il Moro who ruled Milan between 1479 and 1499 and to whom Leonardo was sent as ambassador from the Medici court, was also of Leonardo's age. [45] With Alberti, Leonardo visited the home of the Medici and through them came to know the older Humanist philosophers of whom Marsiglio Ficino, proponent of Neo Platonism; Cristoforo Landino, writer of commentaries on Classical writings, and John Argyropoulos, teacher of Greek and translator of Aristotle were the foremost. Also associated with the Academy of the Medici was [45][47] Leonardo's contemporary, the brilliant young poet and philosopher Pico della Mirandola. [51Leonardo later wrote in the margin of a journal "The Medici made me and the Medici destroyed me." While it was through the action of Lorenzo that Leonardo received his employment at the court [11] of Milan, it is not known exactly what Leonardo meant by this cryptic comment. Although usually named together as the three giants of the High Renaissance, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael were not of the same generation. Leonardo was twenty-three when [45] Michelangelo was born and thirty-one when Raphael was born. Raphael only lived until the age of 37 and died in 1520, the year after Leonardo, but Michelangelo went on creating for another 45 years. [46][47] Study for a portrait ofIsabella d'Este (1500) Louvre Personal life Main article: Leonardo da Vinci's personal life Within Leonardo's lifetime, his extraordinary powers of invention, his "outstanding physical beauty", "infinite grace", "great strength and generosity", "regal spirit and tremendous breadth of mind" as [52] described by Vasari, as well as all other aspects of his life, attracted the curiosity of others. One such aspect is his respect for life evidenced by his vegetarianism and his habit, according to Vasari, of purchasing caged birds and releasing them. [53][54] Leonardo had many friends who are now renowned either in their fields or for their historical significance. They included the mathematician Luca Pacioli, [55]with whom he collaborated on the book De Divina Proportione in the 1490s. Leonardo appears to have had no close relationships with women except for his friendship with Cecilia Gallerani and the two Este sisters, Beatrice and Isabella. [56He drew a portrait of Isabella while on a journey which took him through Mantua, and [11] which appears to have been used to create a painted portrait, now lost. Beyond friendship, Leonardo kept his private life secret. His sexuality has been the subject of satire, analysis, and speculation. This trend began in the mid-16th century and was revived in the 19th and [57] 20th centuries, most notably by Sigmund Freud. Leonardo's most intimate relationships were perhaps with his pupils Salai and Melzi. Melzi, writing to inform Leonardo's brothers of his death, described Leonardo's feelings for his pupils as both loving and passionate. It has been claimed since the 16th century that these relationships were of a sexual or erotic nature. Court records of 1476, when he was aged twenty-four, show that Leonardo and three other young men were charged with sodomy in an incident involving a well-known male prostitute. The charges were dismissed for lack of evidence, and there is speculation that since one of the accused, Lionardo de Tornabuoni, was related to Lorenzo de' Medici, the family exerted its influence to secure the dismissal. [58Since that date much has been written about his presumed homosexuality and its role in his art, particularly in the androgyny and eroticism manifested in John the Baptist and Bacchus and more explicitly in a number of erotic drawings. [59] John the Baptist. Salai is thought to have been the model.0(c. 1514)—Louvre. Assistants and pupils Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno, nicknamed Salai or
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