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Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

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elf-portrait by Leonardo da Vinci Enlarge

( Leonardo da Vinci, 1512-1515, Public domain)

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

Leonardo da Vinci, painter, scientist, architect, engineer, and sculptor, was one of the most versatile creators in the history of art. Born in 1452 in Vinci in the region of Florence, he began his artistic career as an apprentice at studio of the sculptor Verrocchio. He became an independent artist in 1478, the year when he received his first contracts.

It was towards the end of the 15th century that he created The Last Supper, a vast mural fresco of Christ's last meal, for the Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Milan. He then moved to Florence where he created portraits for private individuals, including the renowned Mona Lisa, painted between 1503 and 1506. A short time later, Louis XII, then King of France, named him Official Court Painter and Engineer.

In 1513, he journeyed to Rome and worked on scientific projects. Three years later, King Francis I engaged his services as architect, painter, and engineer. He exercised these duties up until his death in 1519. Leonardo da Vinci devoted his life to the synthesis of all aspects of knowledge and put forth this knowledge through his paintings.

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