Saturday, October 22, 2011

Interesting Facts About Leonardo Da Vinci: Creator of Mona Lisa and The Last Supper

Leonardo Da Vinci is one of the most famous men in history. He is well remembered for his Mona Lisa and The Last Supper – considered as the world’s greatest painting.

1.) Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 in Florence, Italy. He was never married and had no children.

2.) Da Vinci was left-handed. He is regarded as the most universally recognized left-handed artist of all time. Amazingly, he wrote in mirror image because of his left handedness.

3.) He was a person of exceptional talent and skills. He was a polymath, sculptor, painter, musician, architect, mathematician, scientist, inventor, engineer, geologist, anatomist, writer, cartographer and botanist.

4.) He is regarded as a “Renaissance Man”, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination".

5.) He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.

6.) Leonardo appears to have had no close relationships with women except for his friendship with the two Este sisters, Beatrice and Isabella.

7.) Beyond friendship, Leonardo kept his private life secret.

8.) Da Vinci’s sexuality has been the subject of satire, analysis, and speculation.

9.) Leonardo's most intimate relationships were perhaps with his pupils Salai and Melzi.

10.) Melzi, writing to inform Leonardo's brothers of his death, described Leonardo's feelings for his pupils as both loving and passionate.

11.) Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno, nicknamed Salai or Il Salaino ("The Little Unclean One" i.e., the devil), entered Leonardo's household in 1490.

12.) After only a year, Leonardo made a list of his misdemeanors, calling him "a thief, a liar, stubborn, and a glutton", after he had made off with money and valuables on at least five occasions, and spent a fortune on clothes.

13.) Nevertheless, Leonardo treated him with great indulgence and he remained in Leonardo's household for the next thirty years.

14.) Salai executed a number of paintings under the name of Andrea Salai, but although Vasari claims that Leonardo "taught him a great deal about painting".

15.) In 1515, Salai painted a nude version of the Mona Lisa, known as Monna Vanna.

16.) Salai owned the Mona Lisa at the time of his death in 1525, and in his will it was assessed at 505 lire the equivalent of £200,000, an exceptionally high valuation for a small panel portrait.

17.) In 1506, Leonardo took on another pupil, Count Francesco Melzi, the son of a Lombard aristocrat, who is considered to have been his favorite student.

18.) Melzi traveled to France with Leonardo, and remained with him until the latter's death.

19.) Upon Leonardo's death, Melzi inherited the artistic and scientific works, manuscripts, and collections of Leonardo, and faithfully administered the estate. His brothers received piece of lands. Salai received half of Leonardo’s vineyards.

20.) Based on Florentine court records of 1476, Leonardo and three other young men were charged with sodomy with a male prostitute but were acquitted.

21.) Leonardo da Vinci was born out of wedlock to a Piero da Vinci, a legal notary and Caterina, a peasant woman.

22.) Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” is the most famous and most parodied portrait in the world.

23.) His “The Last Supper” is the most reproduced religious painting of all time.

24.) At the age of twenty, Leonardo qualified as a master in the Guild of St. Luke, the guild of artists and doctors of medicine.

25.) He died on May 2, 1519 at the age of 67. Da Vinci was buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert in Château d'Amboise.

26.) Da Vinci’s Codex Leicester was bought in an auction for $30.8 million by Bill Gates in 1994. Presently, Codex Leicester is the most expensive book ever sold.

27.) Codex Arundel and Codex Atlanticus are other well known compilations of Da Vinci.

28.) Vitruvian Man is Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous drawing. It is a study of the proportions of the human body, linking art and science.

29.) Leonardo Da Vinci was a vegetarian and wore brightly-colored clothes.

30.) He is tall, athletic and extremely handsome man.

31.) Leonardo drew the plans for the first armored car and also designed the cannon, a machine gun, gliders, turnspit for roasting meat and canal system to irrigate fields.

32.) Da Vinci was as much an inventor as an artist. Many of the inventions he designed are in use today such as the helicopters and parachutes.

33.) Leonardo Da Vinci was dyslexic.

34.) Leonardo was 23 when Michelangelo was born and 31 when Raphael was born.

35.) Raphael only lived until the age of 37 and died in 1520, the year after Leonardo, but Michelangelo went on creating for another 45 years.
Vitruvian Man

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