This is the story of one of the greatest minds in history. An artist, scientist, engineer, visionary and all-round genius, Leonardo Da Vinci (1452--1519) was arguably the main figure of the Renaissance.
Leonardo was born probably in this farmhouse in Anchiano, which is
3 km away from Vinci. The family of Leonardo lived in this
area since the 13th century..The father of Leonardo da Vinci,
Ser Piero, was a 25 years old public notary when Leonardo
In the same year when Leonardo was born Ser Piero
married his first wife. He didn't marry the mother of Leonardo,
because probably she was a daughter of a farmer. The mother
of Leonardo was called Catarina. Her first name is all what
we know today...
15 Apr 1452 Leonardo born, illegitimate to Ser Piero
da Vinci, in Vinci
1472 Member of the Painter's Guild, Florence.
1482 Moves to Milan to escape talk of buggery.
1495 Begins work on "The
1499 Finishes "The
Last Supper". Because of his experimental technique
in painting materials, the epic piece begins to disintegrate
1502 Meets Cesare Borgia, who becomes his patron, and Niccol
Machiavelli, who becomes a lifelong friend.
1504 Returns to Florence, starts working on "Mona
1513 Moves to Rome.
1519 Leonardo dies. He was buried in the Chapel
of Saint-Hubert in the castle of Amboise.
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Chronology of Leonardo
DaVinci's Live and Times
1447 Pope Nicholas V starts to turn
Rome into a Renaissance city by supporting the arts.
1450 Ser Piero di Antonio da Vinci, Leonardo's father,
is recorded as a notary in Pistoia. Francesco Sforza conquers
Milan, turning it back into a monarchy after a failed experiment
with a republican government.
1451 Ludovico (II Moro) Sforza - future duke of Milan,
successor to Francesco Sforza, and Leonardo's future patron
- is born. So is Christopher Columbus. Leonardo Life
and Work The following timeline provides key information
about Leonardo's life and the context in which he worked, offering
information about key family watersheds, the Italian Wars,
Leo's patrons and popes, and the general flowering of Italian
art and literature.
April 15, 1452 Leonardo (Lionardo) da Vinci is born
at Anchiano near the town of Vinci (or, in Vinci) in Tuscany,
Italy, as the illegitimate son of a successful notary, Ser
Piero di Antonio da Vinci, and a woman, probably a peasant,
named Caterina. Shortly after, Ser Piero marries the 16-year-old
Albiera di Giovanni Amadori.
1453 Constantinople, the heart of the Byzantine (eastern
Roman) Empire, falls to the Ottoman Turks. Greek artists and
writers flock to the Italian city-states. The Hundred Years'
War between England and France ends.
1454 Johann Gutenberg, credited with inventing the printing
press in Germany, prints the Gutenberg Bible
1457 According to a tax return declared by Leonardo's
grandfather, who's living on the Piazzetta (now the
Via Roma) in Vinci, Leonardo now resides with his father in
their household in Florence. Caterina, Leonardo's birth mother,
marries Accattabriga di Piero del Vacca, a lime burner.
1463 Venice begins a 16-year war with the Turks; Venice
is eventually defeated.
1464 Albiera, Ser Piero's first wife, dies in childbirth.
1466 The sculptor Donatello dies. The Arno River floods
Florence and surrounding areas.
1468 Leonardo's grandfather dies at the age of 96.
1469 Ser Piero da Vinci rents a house in Florence.
Leonardo is registered in Vinci on his grandmother's tax declaration.
Around this year, or shortly before, Leonardo starts his apprenticeship
with Andrea del Verrocchio.
Lorenzo de' Medici (II Magnifico) and his younger
brother Giuliano rise to power in Florence after their grandfather
Cosimo's death in 1464 and Piero de' Medici's short rule.
Lorenzo rules until 1491, turning Florence into the quintessential
Renaissance city. Niccolo Machiavelli, author
of The Prince, is born.
1470 Leonardo is registered on the tax declaration of
his father, who now resides and works in Florence.
1471 The corrupt Sixtus IV becomes the pope.
1472 Leonardo enters the Company of Painters (the Compagnia
di San Luca), indicating the end of his official apprenticeship
with Andrea del Verrocchio. He assists with Verrocchio'sBaptism
of Christand begins the Annunciation. Verrocchio
is hired to install the ball on the dome of the Santa Maria
del Fiore (Florence). The humanist Leon Battista Alberti,
one of the Renaissance's major philosophers, musicians, architects,
painters, and sculptors, dies. The first edition of Dante's Divine
1475 Ser Piero marries Margherita di Francesco. The
famed painter and sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti is
born; the painter Paolo Uccello dies.
1476 Ser Piero's first legitimate child, Antonio, is
born. An anonymous charge is made against the 17-year-old Jacopo
Saltarelli, a painter's assistant, for sodomy. Leonardo is
named as one of his lovers. After a repeated accusation, all
charges are dismissed. Verrocchio completes his statue
of David. Verrocchio works on the Forteguerri monument
1478 The bubonic plague (also known as the Black Death)
breaks out, and the Arno River floods Florence. Leonardo, probably
with his father's influence, receives his first important commission:
a medium-sized altar painting for the Bernhard Chapel in the
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence's seat of government. Leonardo never
completes the work.< Sandro Botticelli, one of Andrea
del Verrocchio's pupils, paints La Primavera for Lorenzo
1479 Leonardo draws the execution of Bernardo di Bandino
Baroncelli, who participated in the 1478 Pazzi conspiracy (supported
by Florence's Pazzi family and Pope Sixtus IV) to end Lorenzo
and Giuliano de' Medici's rule in the Florentine state. (Giuliano
was stabbed to death in the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore;
Lorenzo escaped unscathed.)
1481 In March, probably with his father's help, Leonardo
receives a commission from a monastery of San Donato a Scopeto,
just outside Florence. Despite the importance of this commission,
Leonardo doesn't complete the painting, the Adoration
of the Magi, on time. The painters Sandro
Botticelli, Piero di Cosimo, Pietro Perugino, Luca
Signorelli, Antonio Pollaiuolo, and Domenico Ghirlandaio leave
for Rome at the pope's request, to paint frescoes for the Sistine
Chapel walls .
Leonardo writes a letter to Ludovico Sforza, duke of Milan,
offering his services as a military engineer, architect, and
1483 Leonardo, together with Ambrogio and Evangelista
de Predis, is commissioned to paint an altar painting, Virgin
of the Rocks (Louvre)They complete a version
of this painting around 1486.
The artist Raphael Sanzi is born in Urbino. Charles VIII is
anointed king of France.
1484 Pope Innocent VIII is elected.
1485 The bubonic plague breaks out in Milan. Leonardo
starts designing his ideal city for Milan.
Bosch paints the Garden
of Earthly Delights. Bosch produced
several triptychs. Among his most famous is the so-called The
Garden of Earthly Delights. This painting, for which
the original title has not survived, depicts paradise with Adam
and Eve and many wondrous animals on the left panel,
the earthly delights with numerous nude figures and tremendous
fruit and birds on the middle panel, and hell with depictions
of fantastic punishments of the various types of sinners on
the right panel. When the exterior panels are closed the viewer
can see, painted in grisaille, God creating the Earth.
Sandro Botticellipaints the Birth
of Venusfor the Medicis. It depicts the goddess
Venus, having emerged from the sea as a full grown woman, arriving
at the sea-shore (Venus Anadyomene motif). The painting is
held in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
painter Titian is born. Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano
Vecellio (c. 1473/1490 27 August 1576) better known as Titian
as an Italian painter, the leader of 16th-century Venetian
school of the Italian Renaissance. He was born in Pieve di
Cadore, near Belluno (in Veneto), in the Republic of Venice.
1486 Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican reformer, delivers
his first sermons.
Humanist philosopher Pico della Mirandola, decried as a heretic
by the Catholic Church, publishes his 900 treatises on all
subjects, including the ability of humankind to make of itself
what it will.
1487 Leonardo becomes a successful consultant architect
in the Milan Cathedral competition. He designs plans for a
stable, a domed church, various flying machines, and war machines.
He also starts to study anatomy. The first Inquisition tribunal,
based on the Spanish model, is launched in Sicily.
1488 Verrocchio dies.
1490 Commissioned by Ludovico Sforza, the
court artist Leonardo starts the equestrian statue of Francesco Sforza
in Milan. He designs court festivities, beginsMadonna
Littaand Portrait of an Unknown Woman (La BelleFerroniere), works on the stage design
for the pageant II Paradiso by Bernardo Bellincioni,
and starts a treatise on hydraulic works.
1492 Leonardo visits Rome. Lorenzo de' Medici dies;
political and economic power is consolidated in Florence.
Pope Alexander VI is elected, leading to a general moral decline
of the papacy. Christopher Columbus, sailing
for the Spanish Crown, "discovers" America. Spain
expels its Jews.
1493 Leonardo's clay model for the equestrian statue
of Sforza is displayed in Milan. Spain and Portugal start to
divide up the New World.
1494 The Italian Wars begin. Ludovico Sforza allows Charles
VIII of France to invade Italy (and go through Milan) in an
attempt to weaken his enemy, the King of Naples. Savonarola
replaces Piero de' Medici in Florence and installs a puritanical
regime. Pisa becomes independent. These events spell the end
of the Italian 'city-states' independence. Luca
Pacioli publishes Summa de arithmetica... .
1495 Leonardo starts to paintThe
Last Supper in the refectory of the Dominican convent
of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Milan
1496 Leonardo does the drawings for Luca Pacioli's De
divina proportione(Divine Proportion) (1509). At
the request of the pope, Emperor Maximilian enters Italy.
1498 Leonardo designs the interior of the Sala delle
Asse in the Sforza Castle
in Milan. He also experiments with flying machines. Louis XII
succeeds Charles VIII in France. Savonarola (the religious
zealot who's running Florence) is excommunicated and burned
at the stake.
1499 Leonardo begins Burlington
House Cartoonfor King Louis XII of France. The
Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist,
sometimes called The Burlington House Cartoon,
is a full-size cartoon by Leonardo da Vinci. Second Italian
War; French troops defeat Ludovico Sforza and force him to
flee. Cesare Borgia becomes the duke of Valentinois. The Turks
1500 Leonardo stays with patron of the arts Isabella
d'Este (who, at the death of her husband, ruled Mantua) and
starts her portrait before moving on to Venice. He returns
to Florence in April to begin his most productive period as
a painter. He makes a cartoon of the Virgin
and Child with St. Anne for the Servites at Santissima
Annunziata in Florence and lives with the monks in their church.
The French take Ludovico Sforza prisoner.
1501 Leonardo delves into the study of mathematics.
He works on a small painting, Madonna with the Yarnwinder,
commissioned by Florimond Robertet, secretary to the king of
France. The French occupy Rome.
1502 The notorious Cesare Borgia employs Leonardo asmilitary
engineer and architect, and the two travel around central
and northern Italy. Leonardo inspects fortresses, makes military
maps for Borgia's campaigns, and be friends Niccolo Machiavelli.
Here, he draws his Town
Plan of Imola.
1503 Leonardo returns to Florence around March and starts
a portrait of Francesco del Giocondo's wife, Lisa, which becomes
the famous Mona
Lisa . In the fall, he begins his greatest commission
to date, TheBattle
of Anghiari, in the Grand Council Chamber of the Palazzo
Vecchio (the seat of government) in Florence. Pope Julius II
assumes the papal throne, rebuilds Rome (and St. Peter's Basilica),
and initiates the Roman golden age. The Florentines, at war
with Pisa, try to divert the Arno River - with a little help
from Leonardo and Niccolo Machiavelli.
1504 Leonardo's father, Ser Piero, dies. Leonardo's
uncle makes him his heir. During this year, Leonardo focuses
on fortifications of Piombino and the study of hydraulics,
geometry, and bird flight. Michelangelo draws his
cartoon for theBattle
of Cascina, for the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
Acommittee of artists that includes Leonardo decides on the
site for his David. Spain conquers Naples.
1505 Leonardo startsLeda
and the Swanand continues to study flight and birds. Raphael
Sanzi draws sketches based on Leonardo's Mona Lisaand Leda
1506 In May, Leonardo abandons work onThe
Battle of Anghiariand receives permission by the
Florentine authorities to leave town for three months to return
to Milan. There, he enters into the service of Charles d'Amboise,
the French governor in Milan, at the invitation of French king
1507 Leonardo returns to Florence to work on The
Battle of Anghiari(he later reneges on his commitment)
and work out inheritance issues with his siblings. He recovers
the vineyard given to him by Ludovico Sforza. Louis
XII appoints him painter and engineer. He also paints (or supervises
the painting of a new version of Virgin
of the Rocksand possibly begins The
Virgin and Child with St. Anne. Leonardo also meets Francesco
Melzi, his long-time friend and student. Leonardo works
between Milan and Florence. He undertakes projects for the
French governor of Milan, Charles d'Amboise. He submits his
designs for the Trivulzio monument and carries out studies
of hydraulic engineering, town planning, optics, and anatomy.
He completes the second version of Virgin
of the Rocks (London). Michelangelo starts
to paint the Sistine Chapel frescoes. Pope Julius II forms
the League of Cambrai against Venice, which includes Louis
XII of France, Emperor Maximilian I, and Ferdinand of Aragon.
1509 Leonardo continues his studies of anatomy and hydraulics. Luca
Pacioli and Leonardo publish De divina proportionein
Venice. Europe launches the first African slave trade with
the New World.
1510 Around this time, Leonardo draws maps and geological
surveys of the Lombardy region. Sandro Botticelli dies.
1511 Giorgio Vasari (1511-74), the biographer of Leonardo
and other Renaissance artists, is born. Charles d'Amboise dies.
Swiss troops reach Milan; Pope Julius II forms the Holy League
against the French, who leave Milan after the Battle of Ravenna. `
1512 The French are defeated; the Medicis return to
power in Florence. Michelangelo completes the Sistine Chapel
ceiling. Copernicus writes that Earth circles the Sun.
1513 Leonardo starts on St. John the Baptist. Pope Leo X (Giovanni de' Medici) succeeds Julius
II and becomes a great patron of the arts.
With the death of his supporter, Charles d'Amboise, Leonardo
leaves Milan to work for Giuliano de' Medici (pope Leo X's
brother) in Rome. He lives in the Belvedere with Francesco
Melzi and his young assistant, Giacomo Salai, experiments with
mirrors, and finishes Sa/vator Mundi.
1514 In the papal court, Leonardo starts various scientific
experiments, including reclamation of the Pontini marshes south
of Rome. Louis XII dies. The French, under Fran~ois I, recapture
Milan. Leonardo invents a mechanical lion for peace talks in
Bologna between the French king and Pope Leo X. Niccolo Machiavelli
publishes the politically influential book, The Prince.
1516 When Giuliano de' Medici dies in March, Leonardo
again loses his patron. In the winter of 1516, he takes up
an invitation from French king Fran~ois I to be a court painter
in France. There, Leonardo works on scientific, architectural,
and irrigation designs and projects, despite a stroke that
paralyzes his right hand.
1517 Leonardo, Giacomo Salai, and Francesco Melzi move
into the chateau of Cloux, near the royal Castle of Amboise.
Leonardo works on his plans for a palace at Romorantin and
draws his Deluge series. The Protestant Reformation
begins with Martin Luther's Ninety-five Theses in
Germany, dividing the Roman Catholic Church.
1518 Leonardo organizes court festivities at Amboise.
1520-30 Melzi inherits Leonardo's manuscripts and starts
to organize them. The most important of these documents is
Leonardo's Treatise on Painting.
Salai inherits most of Leonardo's paintings. When Salai dies
in 1525, his estate contains The Virgin and Child with
St. Anne, St. John theBaptist, Leda and the Swan, the Mona
Lisa, and St. Jerome.
When Melzi dies in 1570, Leonardo's papers, drawings,
and paintings scatter far and wide to collectors all over Europe;
many have no idea of the manuscripts' importance, and many
are subsequently lost.
1522 Magellan's ship returns to Spain, after circumnavigating
1527 Rome is sacked by the troops of the Holy Roman
Empire, symbolizing the beginning of the downfall of Renaissance