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His strong love for animals and nature as a child had a large impact on his creativity and his future artwork (Boucquey). Being an illegitimate son, Leonardo da Vinci could not attend a university and had limited career options. His father, San Piero encouraged him to become an artist, which was a highly respected career during the fifteenth century. Leonardo da Vinci started out as a garzone or a studio boy at the Andrea del Verrochio Studio (Tracy 14-15). It was in this studio that Leonardo da Vinci mastered painting, sculpting and architecture (Boucquey).
Soon after his birth Piero Da Vinci took custody of Leonardo because his mother left and married another man in a nearby town. At the age of 15 his father got him an apprenticeship with a renowned artist Andrea Del Verrochio in Florence, who did such painting as “Madonna and Child” and “Saint Monica”; however he was most famous for his bronze status of the day. Leonardo quickly took to his talent and showed it at a young age. His first true painting was the angel kneeling in the “Baptism of Christ” the main parts of the work were done by his mentor Verrocchio and other students. After Verrocchio saw the painting Leonardo had done, it is said that he never wanted to raise a brush again, humiliated at how an apprentice could do so much better than his master.
Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Austin Community College. 29 January 2010 "BBC - History - Historic Figures: Leonardo da Vinci (1452 -1519)." BBC - Homepage.
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