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Leonardo Da Vinci

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Leonardo Da Vinci was born on April 14, 1452 in the town of Vinci near Florence Italy. He kept the name of his town for his last name. He lived during the fifteenth century, a period when the people of Europe were becoming interested in art. This period of time was known as the Renaissance period. Leonardo Da Vinci was very talented. He was a great artist, but he became famous because he was able to do so many other things. He was an architect, a musician, inventor, sculptor, scientist, and mathematician. His artistic talent revealed its self early in his life. When he was about 15 years old Leonardo's father took him to Florence Italy, to train as a painter and sculptor in the studio of Andrea del Verroccho. He studied with this master until the age of twenty five. At this point, he set up his own business and was famous for being a painter and a man of science. As a scientist, he observed everything he could in nature. Leonardo used what he learned from nature and science to make his paintings look real. He drew and took many notes of what he observed. His notes were written backwards, probably because he didn't want people to read about his discoveries and observations. In order to read Leonardo's notes, one has to hold them up to a mirror. In 1472 he entered a painters' guild. His earliest extensive works date back to this time. In 1482 Da Vinci worked for Duke Lodovico Sforza in Milan for 18 years. He fulfilled the position as court artist, but also worked as an engineer and architect. While in Milan Leonardo developed more theories about painting. Leonardo believed that knowledge should be based on observation. He believed that observation led to understanding, and artists had an obligation to record this understanding by painting accurate images. He made sketches of everything around him. This caused him to make a master plan, his plan was to record the structure of every building in the world. He believed that this would uncover laws of harmony and proportion. In the fall of 1499 Leonardo left France and headed to Florence. There he painted paintings such as, Battle of Anghiari a mural that was painted for the Council Chamber of Town Hall, the famous portrait named the Mona Lisa, and Leda and the Swan.
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