This chalk drawing by da Vinci is thought to be a self portrait.
(Image: © Leonardo da Vinci, ca. 1510-1515)
It may seem you’ve heard all there is to learn about the famed Renaissance man who painted the «Mona Lisa» and awed the world with sketches of flying machines. But it’s likely that, there are some little-known factual statements about Leonardo da Vinci’s life that may surprise you.
When da Vinci died in 1519, he left out a lot more than 6,000 journal pages filled up with his personal musings, grocery lists and bawdy jokes. He also detailed his resources of inspiration, his desire to have lasting fame and his deeply felt heartaches.
Most of these sentiments form the foundation for «In the Mind of Leonardo,» a fresh film about the artist and inventor that debuts in NEW YORK on Friday (Dec. 19). Played by Scottish actor Peter Capaldi (who also plays THE PHYSICIAN in the brand new version of it series «Doctor Who»), the film’s da Vinci reads aloud from the pages of the journals, revealing the deepest secrets of the initial Renaissance man. [Anatomy Meets Art: Da Vinci’s Drawings]
Here are a few interesting factual statements about da Vinci’s life.
He was «illegitimate.»
Da Vinci was created in 1452 near Vinci, in what’s now the Italian region of Tuscany. By most accounts, his father was a notary and landlord named Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci. His mother, Caterina, is often believed to have already been an area peasant. However, some professionals think that Caterina was actually a slave owned by Messer Piero.
Da Vinci’s parents never married one another. The young da Vinci lived along with his mother until he was 5 years old and later moved in to the home of his father, who had married an other woman.
The artist’s journals show that he maintained a somewhat distant relationship along with his mother throughout his adult life, exchanging letters with her only every once in awhile. His writings recommend a closer reference to his father, whose death da Vinci deeply mourned.
He was unschooled.
Unlike other well-known Renaissance artists, da Vinci never received any type of formal education. He did, however, receive instruction in the home in subjects such as for example reading, writing and mathematics.
Growing up in rural Tuscany, da Vinci spent a lot of his time outdoors, where he marveled at the natural world. His journals indicate that he previously an ardent interest in the properties of water especially, and also the movements of birds of prey. Actually, the artist recorded that his earliest memory was of a dream when a bird of prey landed on his face and pushed its tail feathers between his lips.
It wasn’t until his teenage years that the budding artist was delivered to Florence to serve as an apprentice for Andrea del Verrocchio, a prominent Florentine painter. And it didn’t take miss the student to be the master. Rumor has it that after da Vinci painted among the angels in Verrocchio’s work «The Baptism of Christ,» the a lot more experienced artist was so humbled by the young man’s talent that he vowed to never paint again.
A lot of his works are unfinished.
Da Vinci was a notoriously slow painter, and several of his works were finished never. Furthermore to housing the famed (and finished) «Mona Lisa,» the Louvre in Paris houses «The Virgin and Child with St. Anne,» an unfinished painting depicting the Virgin Mary, a child Jesus and Mary’s mother, St. Anne.
Hanging in another of the Vatican Museums is «St. Jerome in the Wilderness,» another unfinished da Vinci painting — that one portraying the hermitic St. Jerome and his companion, a tamed lion. [Leonardo Da Vinci’s 10 Best Ideas]
Possibly the most intriguing of da Vinci’s unfinished works is his painting «The Adoration of the Magi,» which includes a depiction of the young artist himself allegedly. The painting, left incomplete in 1481, has been held at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, since 1670.
Furthermore to these unfinished paintings, da Vinci left out many unfinished inventions. Actually, there is no evidence that the artist’s inventions were ever built. Similarly, none of his writings were published during his lifetime ever.
He was persecuted.
When da Vinci was 24 years old, he was arrested along with several male companions on charges of sodomy. When no witnesses found testify against the artist and his friends forward, the charges were dropped. But da Vinci’s journals recommend that the allegations were somewhat devastating to a guy who liked to keep his private life private.
Da Vinci might have been scared for his life also. In 15th century Florence, sodomy was a crime punishable by death. Not after his case was dismissed long, the artist left Florence for Milan.
He previously a militant side
After abandoning his patrons in Florence to begin afresh in Milan, da Vinci had a need to drum up home based business. His strategy was to ingratiate himself to Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan.
Under Sforza, da Vinci was commissioned to create what could have been the crowning achievement of his artistic career: a huge bronze statue of a horse. The project was abandoned when France invaded Italy at the turn of the 15th century.
But a huge warhorse wasn’t all that da Vinci decided for the Duke of Milan. Upon offering himself to the homely house of Sforza, he set his plans to build numerous «war devices forth.» Contained in da Vinci’s sketchbooks are plans for cannons, smoke machines, portable bridges and armored vehicles even.
Like his flying machine, however, there is absolutely no evidence that these war machines were ever constructed.
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