Biography of Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci: interesting facts of life, achievements

There is a theory that geniuses are born only at that historical moment when development, cultural and social, has already prepared the ground for them. This hypothesis well explains the appearance of great personalities, whose actions were appreciated during life. The situation is more difficult with those brilliant minds, whose calculations and developments far surpassed their era. Their creative thought, as a rule, received recognition only after centuries, often at the same time being lost in centuries and reborn again, when all the conditions for the implementation of brilliant plans appeared.

The biography of Leonardo da Vinci is just an example of such a story. However, among his achievements were recognized and understood by his contemporaries, and those that could only be appreciated recently.biography of leonardo da vinci

Son of a notary

The birthday of Leonardo da Vinci is April 15, 1452. He was born in sunny Florence, in the town of Ankiano, near the town of Vinci. Most of all, his name is evidenced by his name, which actually means “Leonardo is from Vinci”. The childhood of a future genius predetermined in many ways his entire future life. Leonardo's father, a young notary Pierrot, was in love with a simple peasant Catherine. The fruit of their passion and became da Vinci. However, shortly after the birth of the boy, Piero married a rich heiress and left his son in the care of his mother. Fate was willing to dispose of so that their marriage was childless, because at the age of three little Leo was separated from his mother and began to live with his father. These events left an indelible imprint on future geniuses: all the work of Leonardo da Vinci was permeated by the search for the image of Catherine, abandoned in childhood. According to one of the versions, it was her artist who captured it on the famous painting “Mona Lisa”.

First successes

Since childhood, the great Florentine showed a tendency to many sciences. Quickly grasping the basics, he was able to confound even the most experienced teacher.Leonardo was not afraid of complex mathematical problems; he was able to construct his own judgments, often surprising teachers, on the basis of the learned axioms. He was honored and music. Among the many tools, Leonardo gave his preference to the lyre. He learned to extract beautiful melodies from her and sang with pleasure to her accompaniment. But most of all he liked painting and sculpture. He was fascinated by them selflessly, which soon became noticeable to his father.

Andrea del Verrocchio

Piero, paying tribute to the sketches and sketches of his son, decided to show them to his friend, the famous painter Andrea Verrocchio at that time. The work of Leonardo da Vinci made a great impression on the master, and he offered to become his teacher, to which his father, without thinking twice, agreed. So the young artist began to join the great art. The biography of Leonardo da Vinci covered here will be incomplete, if not to mention how this training ended for the painter.

Once Verrocchio ordered to draw the baptism of Christ. At that time, masters quite often instructed the best students to write minor figures or backgrounds.Having depicted St. John and Christ, Andrea del Verrocchio decided to draw two angels together and entrusted the execution of one of them to young Leonardo. He did the work with all diligence, and it was difficult not to notice how much the student’s skill had surpassed the teacher’s skill. The biography of Leonardo da Vinci, set out by Giorgio Vasari, a painter and the first art critic, mentions that Verrocchio did not just notice his apprentice's talent, but refused to take the brush forever after that - this superiority hurt him.

paintings by leonardo da vinci

Not only a painter

One way or another, the union of two masters brought a lot of results. Andrea del Verrocchio also engaged in sculpture. To create a statue of David, he used Leonardo as a model. A characteristic feature of the perpetuated hero is a slight half-smile, which later will become practically the hallmark of da Vinci. There is also reason to believe that Verrocchio created his most famous work, the statue of Bartolomeo Collele, along with brilliant Leonardo. In addition, the master was famous for his excellent decorator and producer of various festivities at the court. This art of Leonardo also adopted.

Signs of a genius

Six years after the start of training, Andrea del Verrocchio Leonardo opened his own workshop. Vasari notes that his mind is always restless and always eager to attain perfection, in many ways the mind had some flaws: Leonardo often left his undertakings incomplete and immediately took on new things. The biographer regrets that much was never created by the genius because of this, how many great discoveries he did not make, although he stood on their doorstep.

Indeed, Leonardo was a mathematician, a sculptor, a painter, an architect, and an anatomist, but many of his works lacked completeness. Take at least a picture of Leonardo da Vinci. For example, he was assigned to portray Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The picture was intended as a gift to the Portuguese king. The artist masterfully painted the trees, which seemed to be able to rustle at the slightest breath of wind, carefully depicted the meadow and animals. However, on that and completed his work, and not bringing it to the end.

Perhaps it was this inconsistency that made Leonardo a jack of all trades. Throwing a picture, he was taken on clay, talking about the development of plants, at the same time watching the life of stars.Perhaps, if a genius would strive to complete each of his work, today we would know only a mathematician or artist Leonardo da Vinci, but not one and the other in one person.

"Last Supper"

creativity Leonardo da Vinci

In addition to the desire to embrace a lot, the great genius was characterized by the desire to achieve perfection and the ability to understand where its limits are in this sense. Paintings by Leonardo da Vinci became famous during the lifetime of the master. He executed one of his most famous works for the Order of Dominicans in Milan. The refectory church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is still decorated with its “Last Supper”.

A legend is associated with the picture. The artist has long been looking for suitable models for the face of Christ and Judas. According to his plan, the Son of God was to embody all the good that is in the world, and the traitor was evil. Sooner or later, the search was crowned with success: among the choir artists, he spotted a model suitable for the face of Christ. However, the search for the second model took three years, until finally Leonardo noticed a beggar in a ditch, whose face was more than suitable for Judas. A drunk and dirty man was taken to church because he himself was unable to move. There, seeing the picture, he exclaimed in surprise: she was familiar to him.A little later, he explained to the artist that three years ago, when fate was more favorable to him, Christ was painted for the same picture from him.

Vasari details

However, most likely, this is only a legend. At least, the biography of Leonardo da Vinci, outlined by Vasari, does not contain a mention of this. The author provides other information. While working on the picture, the genius really could not complete the face of Christ for a long time. He remained unfinished. The artist believed that he could not portray the extraordinary kindness and great forgiveness with which the face of Christ should shine. He was not even going to look for a suitable model for him. However, even in this unfinished form, the picture is still striking. On the faces of the apostles are clearly visible their love for the teacher and suffering because of the inability to comprehend all that he tells them. Even the tablecloth on the table was written out so carefully that it cannot be distinguished from the real one.

The most famous painting

 riddles of leonardo da vinci

The main masterpiece of the great Leonardo - without a doubt, "Mona Lisa". Vasari quite definitely calls the picture a portrait of the third wife of the Florentine, Francesco del Giocondo. However, the author of many biographies was characteristic, in addition to proven facts, to use legends, rumors and conjectures as sources.For a long time, researchers could not find an exhaustive answer to the question of who was the model of da Vinci. Researchers who agreed with the version of Vasari, dated Dzhakondu 1500-1505 years. During these years, Leonardo da Vinci worked in Florence. Opponents of the hypothesis noted that by that time the artist had not yet reached such perfect mastery, and therefore, probably, the picture was painted later. In addition, in Florence, Leonardo worked on another work, the “Battle of Anghiari,” and it took a lot of time.

Among the alternative hypotheses were the assumption that "Mona Lisa" - a self-portrait or a picture of the beloved and disciple of da Vinci, Salai, whom he captured in the painting "John the Baptist." The opinion was expressed that the model was Isabella of Aragon, the Duchess of Milan. All the riddles of Leonardo da Vinci are dying before this one. However, in 2005, scientists managed to find a strong evidence in favor of the version of Vasari. The notes of Agostino Vespucci, an official and a friend of Leonardo were discovered and studied. They, in particular, indicated that Da Vinci was working on a portrait of Lisa Gerardi, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo.

artist Leonardo da Vinci

Ahead of time

If the paintings of da Vinci gained fame during the life of the author, many of his achievements in other areas were appreciated only centuries later. The date of death of Leonardo da Vinci is May 2, 1519. However, it was not until the end of the nineteenth century that the recordings of genius became public. Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, describing the device, far ahead of their time.

If the master inspired many contemporaries with his painting and laid the foundation for the art of the High Renaissance, then his technical masterpieces could not be realized with the levels of technological development that was in the sixteenth century.

Flying cars of Leonardo da Vinci

The ingenious inventor wanted to soar not only in thoughts, but also in reality. He worked on the creation of a flying machine. The drawings of Leonardo da Vinci contain the layout of the world's first model of a hang-glider. This was the third or fourth variant of the flying machine. Inside the first pilot was to be located. The mechanism was set in motion by spinning the pedals, which he twisted. The prototype of the hang-glider was designed for a flight planner. This model was tested in the UK in 2002.Then the world champion in hang gliding managed to hold out above the ground for seventeen seconds, while she rose to a height of ten meters.

Earlier, the genius developed the scheme of the device, which was to be lifted into the air with the help of one rotor. The car remotely resembles a modern helicopter. However, this mechanism, which began to move as a result of the consonant work of four people, had a lot of flaws, and it was not destined to become a reality even after a century.

Military vehicles

Biographers often, giving a description of Leonardo da Vinci as a person, note his peacefulness and censure of hostilities. However, apparently, this did not prevent him from developing mechanisms, whose only function was to defeat the enemy. For example, he created a drawing of a tank. With the operating mechanisms of the Second World War, it was not very similar.

drawings of leonardo da vinci

The car was set in motion by the efforts of eight people turning the wheel arms. And she could only move forward. The tank had a rounded shape and was equipped with a large number of guns directed in different directions. Today, almost any museum of Leonardo da Vinci can demonstrate such a fighting machine, made according to the drawings of the ingenious master.

Among the invented da Vinci guns and was an intimidating form of a chariot-scythe, and the prototype of a machine gun. All these products demonstrate the breadth of thought of a genius, his ability for many centuries to predict which way development will take society.


Was among the developments of genius and car model. Outwardly, he was not much like the familiar to us cars, more like a cart. For a long time, it was unclear how Leonardo intended to move it. This riddle was solved in 2004, when in Italy according to the drawings they created a da Vinci automobile and supplied it with a spring mechanism. Perhaps, this is exactly what the author of the model supposed.

Perfect city

Leonardo da Vinci lived in turbulent times: wars were frequent, in many places plague raged. The genius seeking mind, faced with serious illnesses and the misfortunes they bring, sought to find a way to improve the quality of life. Da Vinci has developed a scheme of an ideal city, divided into several levels: the upper one - for the higher strata of society, the lowest one - for trade. All the houses, according to the author's idea, should have permanent access to water using a system of pipes and canals.The ideal city did not consist of narrow streets, but of wide squares and roads. The purpose of such innovations was to reduce disease and improve hygiene. The project remained on paper: the kings to whom Leonardo proposed it were considered a venture too bold.

Achievements in other areas

science of Leonardo da Vinci

Much obliged science to the genius. Leonardo da Vinci was well versed in human anatomy. He worked by the sweat of his face, sketching features of the internal arrangement of organs and the structure of muscles, created the principles of anatomical drawing. He also made a description of the thyroid gland, its main functions. Spending time astronomical explorations, he explained the mechanism by which the sun illuminates the moon. Da Vinci was not deprived of his attention and physics, introducing the concept of friction coefficient and determining the factors affecting it.

There are in the works of genius and ideas characteristic of modern archeology. So, he was not a supporter of the official version at the time, according to which shells, found in many on the slopes of the mountains, got there because of the Flood. According to the scientist, once upon a time these mountains could be the shores of the seas or even their bottom.And after unimaginable periods of time, they “grew up” and became as they are seen.

Secret writing

Among the mysteries of Leonardo after the secret of "Mona Lisa" is most often discussed his mirror handwriting. The genius was left-handed. Most of his notes he did the opposite: the words went from right to left and it was possible to read them only with the help of a mirror. There is a version according to which da Vinci wrote this way so as not to lubricate the ink. Another hypothesis says that the scientist did not want his works to become the property of fools and ignoramuses. Most likely, we will never know the correct answer to this question.

No less secret is the personal life of the great Leonardo. About her, little is known, because the genius did not seek to exhibit it. And therefore today there are a lot of the most incredible hypotheses on this subject. However, this is a topic for a separate article.

The indisputable and obvious remains the contribution of Leonardo da Vinci to world art, his extraordinary mind, which could almost simultaneously comprehend problems from completely different areas of human knowledge. Few people in history can be compared in this sense with Leonardo.At the same time, he was a worthy representative of his era, having absorbed all the ideals of the Renaissance.

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