21st Century : Masters : Da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was born in April 15, 1452 in Vinci, Italy. Leonardo's mastery in art, science and engineering have earned him a place among the most prolific geniuses of history.
At age 17, Leonardo and his father moved to Florence, where he apprenticed to Verrocchio. His brilliance soon eclipsed that of his master. In 1472 Leonardo became a member of the painter's guild of Florence, where he had contact with other great Florentine artists including Michelangelo Buonarroti.
In 1481 Leonardo left Florence for Milan to offer his service to the local Duke. During this period he painted the "Madonna of the Rocks" and the "Last Supper." In 1499 Leonardo left Milan, traveling through Mantua, to the court of Isabella d'Este; to Venice, where he consulted on architecture from 1495 to 1499; and in 1502 and 1503 was military engineer for Cesare Borgia. After his service to the Borgias, Leonardo returned to Florence. It was during the period between 1503 and 1506, while working primarily in Florence, that he had his greatest following and painted such classics as the "Mona Lisa."
Leonardo left Florence for Milan in 1506, although he returned in 1507-8 to fight for his inheritance from his Uncle. In 1509 he returned to Milan and devoted much of his time to scientific studies, and to engineering projects such as channeling the course of the Adda river. In 1512 Leonardo left Milan again, and from 1513 to 1516 was in Rome under the protection of Giuliano de Medici, the brother of Pope Leo X. Here Leonardo came into contact with Michelangelo, and another young rival, Raphael.
After the death of Giuliano dei Medici, Leonardo accepted an invitation from French friends and moved to the castle of Cloux near Amboise, where he stayed with his faithful pupil Melzi until the end of his life. Leonardo died on May 2, 1519, and was buried in the cloister of San Fiorentino in Amboise.
Article Copyright 2000 http://www.lucidcafe.com and Robin Chew
Leonardo at WebMuseum
The Leonardo Museum at Vinci, Italy, his home town.