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Leonardo da Vinci. The Life. Leonardo was born on April 15 th 1452 in Vinci, a small Tuscan village between Pisa and Florence. In 1460 he moves to Florence with his step mother and his father, a notary who wants Leonardo to become a notary like him.

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the life
The Life

Leonardo was born on April 15th 1452 in Vinci, a small Tuscan village between Pisa and Florence.

In 1460 he moves to Florence with his step mother and his father, a notary who wants Leonardo to become a notary like him.

In 1466 at the age of fourteen Leonardo joins Verrocchio's studio, one of the most important workshop in Florence. Here Leonardo will start his apprenticeship and will meet other famous artists.

He knows the Medici (the most important family in Florence) and meets many other intellectuals. When he was in Milan he realizes “The Last Dinner" ("l'UltimaCena"), one of the most famous Leonardo's painting. On 1500 he comes back to Florence, where he will stay until 1506, working for Cesare Borgia, as a military engineer. In this period Leonardo paints two of his most famous works: "La Gioconda" and "La Leda".

When Leonardo is in Rome he meets Michelangelo and visits the Sistina Chapel, just ended by Michelangelo.

He dies on May 2nd in ClosLucè.


Observations and Discoveries

Leonardo Da Vinci, ingenious man of the Renaissance, fully incarned the Renaissance humanist ideal.

He was an Italian painter, engineer, scientist, inventor, anatomist, geologist: he is considered the most diversely talented person that ever lived.

He was a precursor of geology. He discovered that the fossils of pre-history stay in the seabed.

In the field of Botany, Leonardo made some important observations: he noticed that leaves on branches are not casually located, but follow mathematical laws (that were formulated only three centuries later): leaves grow avoiding overlapping, in order to take most possible quantity of light.

Leonardo also discovered that tree's circles in the trunks show the plant's age. At the same conclusion arrived Marcello Malpighi one century later.

Leonardo studied the capillarity phenomena: he started observing how the water comes up through three's trunk.

He discovered the lymph's ascendant and descendant flows.

He also made an experiment that anticipated hydroponics: he studied hydraulics.


Leonardo:Painter and Inventor

La Gioconda

Deltaplano (hangglider)

Carro armato (tank)

the self portrait
The Self-Portrait

Leonardo da Vinci’s self-portrait was drawn about 1515 and it is actually exhibited at Turin Royal Library. The drawn of the famous self-portrait, the only one surely representing the artist, is mostly dated from his last years, when he was living in France at the service of Francesco I.

After Leonardo da Vinci’s death, all his works were left in inheritance to his trusted collaborator Francesco Melzi. The self-portrait reappeared in the beginning of 19th century in Milan, but afterward it vanished again since 1840, when a collector sold it to Carlo Alberto diSavoia. From the collections of Savoia family the self-portrait arrived later in Royal Library.

The work represents the face of a man with long hairs white as the beard, but bald to the top of his head. Signs of the time are well evident, with furrows along his forehead.

The self-portrait, finally, was drawn from right to the left, as seen in a mirror.


The authors:

Valentina Vavala’

Alessandro Tancredi

Christian Nardi

Antonello De Santis

Margherita Contri

Alessandro Benevolo