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Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci14/15 April 1452Anchiano, Vinci, Republic of Florence (present-day Italy)
2 May 1519(1519-05-02) (aged 67)Clos Lucé, Amboise, Kingdom of France
Painting, drawing, sculpting, science, engineering, architecture, anatomy
15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519
Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, and engineer whose skill and intelligence, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. His Last Supper (1495–98) and Mona Lisa (c. 1503–19) are among the most widely popular and influential paintings of the Renaissance.
“Battle of Anghiari”, “Last Supper”, “Leda”, “Mona Lisa”, “Portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci”, “St. Jerome”, “The Benois Madonna”, “The Virgin of the Rocks”, “Treatise on Painting”, “Virgin and Child with St. Anne”
Among the qualities that make da Vinci’s work unique are the innovative techniques that he used in laying on the paint, his detailed knowledge of anatomy, his use of the human form in figurative composition, and his use of sfumato. Leonardo was also a master at “chiaroscuro," an Italian term meaning “light/dark."
Leonardo is identified as one of the greatest painters in the history of art and is often credited as the founder of the High Renaissance. Despite having many lost works and less than 25 attributed major works — including numerous unfinished works — he created some of the most influential paintings in Western art. His magnum opus, the Mona Lisa, is his best known work and often regarded as the world's most famous painting. The Last Supper is the most reproduced religious painting of all time and his Vitruvian Man drawing is also regarded as a cultural icon.
Leonardo is sometimes credited as the inventor of the tank, helicopter, parachute, and flying machine, among other vehicles and devices, but later scholarship has disputed such claims. Nonetheless, Leonardo’s notebooks reveal a sharp intellect, and his contributions to art, including methods of representing space, three-dimensional objects, and the human figure, cannot be overstated.
“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.”
“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.”