Leonardo da Vinci Biography, History and Inventions

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The Uomo Universale of the Italian Renaissance and possibly the most brilliantly creative man in European history—Leonardo da Vinci, was born on 15 April, 1452 in the village Anchiano, near the small town Vinci, in the vicinity of Florence, Italy.

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He was an illegitimate son of the 25 years old Ser Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci (1427-1504), a prominent notary of Florence, and a 15 years old native peasant woman—Caterina di Meo Lippi (1537-1595).

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The extremely gifted intellectually and physically child grown up in the farm of his grandfather in Anchiano, without his mother, who was arranged to marry a local farmer, being considered as a unsuitable party for the promising notary.

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There is no information if Leonardo has attended a school at all, or was educated by the village members of da Vinci family, which took care for the child—his uncle Francesco (1436-1506), grandfather Antonio (1373-1468) and grandmother Lucia (1393-1470).

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When Leonardo was 15, his father noticed the extreme talent of the boy and apprenticed him to Andrea del Verrocchio, a leading artist of Florence and a characteristic talent of the Italian Renaissance.

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Leonardo came also into contact with such great artists as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, and Lorenzo di Credi. After completing his apprenticeship, Leonardo stayed on as an assistant in Verrocchio’s shop, and his earliest known painting is a product of his collaboration with the master.

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In 1478 Leonardo set up his own studio. The culmination of Leonardo’s art during his first period in Florence is the magnificent altarpiece Adoration of the Magi, commissioned in 1481 by the monks of San Donato a Scopeto, but left unfinished by Leonardo.

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