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Leonardo Da Vinci Essay

2505 words - 10 pages

Leonardo da Vinci ?Renaissance man?, a person versed in many different fields of knowledge and endeavors, means Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci means ability, creative power, intellect and achievement. His paintings were of superb beauty and sublime spiritual content that place them among the world?s masterpieces (Bacci inside cover). Leonardo?s life and work is both fascinating and inspirational. He laid the groundwork for what was to follow in art, science, and culture. Leonardo embodies the spirit, aspirations, and diversity associated with the Italian Renaissance (Wasserman 7). Leonardo da Vinci, a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, inventor, and scientist was one of the greatest creative geniuses ever known to man; however, he was also somewhat unreliable and fickle.Born on April 15, 1452, Leonardo da Vinci, a renowned painter of the Florentine school, is the greatest artist of the High Renaissance style. He is the most complex genius of the Renaissance and perhaps of all time. The enigma of Leonardo starts with his birth in Anchiano, an outlying town of Vinci near Florence, Italy. He was the illegitimate son of a very successful Florentine notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant girl. There are little details known about his mother. Most biographers call her a peasant girl Hrapczynski 2 and let it go at that; in Vinci, the tradition is that she was a barmaid only known as Caterina (Wallace 9).As a child, Leonardo ignored Latin, mathematics, and literature. This was a big surprise to people in his area because knowing Latin was essential to life in those days. He would learn things in his leisure that he wanted to know. Sometimes Leonardo would cut school and climb the rocky mountains surrounding his home. Later on in life, he became sensitive about his lack of formal education and felt obligated to defend himself against critics who held that he was not a scholar.In 1468, Leonardo and his family moved to Florence. This is where he learned to come in touch with the artist inside of him. In 1472, Leonardo joined the Compagnia di San Luca, a painter?s guild in Florentine. He became the student of Andrea Del Verrocchio. In Verrocchio?s shop, Leonardo would have been able to develop his interest in painting, sculpture, metal casting, drawing and the study of nature. He transferred what he learned and observed in nature to make his paintings look more realistic. While Verrocchio was painting a picture of St. John baptizing Christ, Leonardo assisted him and painted an angel holding some garments. Although very young, he made it far better then the pictures of Verrocchio who then abandoned painting in frustration that a pupil could surpass the master (Wasserman 9). Leonardo studied subjects long before others knew them. Verrocchio inspired Leonardo to learn geometry, medicine, astronomy, machinery, and geology. Leonardo studied with Verrocchio until the age of twenty-five, when he started his own business and became a famous painter and a...

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