Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, described as one of the most gifted and inventive men in history, was born in in a village near the town of Vinci, Tuscany. An illegitimate son of Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, a Florentine notary, and Caterina, a peasant girl, he was brought up on the family estate in Anchiano by his paternal grandfather. His father married a sixteen-year old girl, Albiera, with whom Leonardo was close, but who died young. Leonardo was the oldest of 12 siblings and his family never treated his illegitimacy as a stigma. At the age of 14 Leonardo moved to Florence to begin an apprenticeship with Andrea del Verrocchio, an artist who had been a student of Early Renaissance master Donatello. Verrocchio was an important artist in the court of Medici, a powerful family equally noted for its political involvement and generous patronage of the arts, of which the success of the Renaissance is often attributed.
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Leonardo da Vinci — was one of the leading artists of the High Renaissance. Fifteen artworks are generally attributed either in whole or in large part to him. However, it is believed that he made many more, only for them to be lost over the years or remain unidentified. The authorship of several paintings traditionally attributed to Leonardo is disputed. Two major works are known only as copies.
Leonardo da Vinci - Biography and Legacy
Leonardo da Vinci was a Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, military engineer and draftsman — the epitome of a true Renaissance man. Gifted with a curious mind and a brilliant intellect, da Vinci studied the laws of science and nature, which greatly informed his work. His drawings, paintings and other works have influenced countless artists and engineers over the centuries. Born out of wedlock to respected Florentine notary Ser Piero and a young peasant woman named Caterina, da Vinci was raised by his father and his stepmother.
Leonardo da Vinci spent his final three years in Amboise in a chateau now housing a museum with models of his designs. The chateau was the childhood home of King Francis I but much more famously the palace where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final three years as the guest of the king of France. Apart from period furniture, many models of his designs are on display.