Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci  bigraphy, stories - An artist of genius, a great scientist

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci : biography

He was a sculptor and a painter. He was an architect and an engineer. Нe was a scientist and an inventor. He was a musician and a philosopher. There seems to be no field in science, technology and art in which he didn’t succeed and didn’t appear as a true genius. Leonardo da Vinci was the greatest person of Renaissance.

On the 15th of April in 1452 a boy called Leonardo was born near Florence. His father, seignior Piero da Vinci, wasn’t poor – he kept his own notarial office as four generations of his ancestors used to do. During his long and fruitful life Leonardo’s father four times was officially married and had two daughters and ten sons. But Leonardo was born bastardy, and there is very little information about his mother. More often than not biographers mention a young peasant woman Catherina but it’s not the fact. Leonardo was brought up with the legitimate children of his father who recognized him, but till the age of four he lived with his mother in Anchiano village. Then father took him to live with his family and gave the boy an opportunity to study like his other children. Leonardo learnt to read and write very fast, he was good at Latin and mathematics.

Leonardo was a left-handed man. This exact character was used afterwards to identify Leonardo’s inventions: he wrote the other way round, from right to left, he could write out letters mirroring them. That’s why his texts can be easily read through the agency of a mirror. But Leonardo’s letters and some manuscripts were written in the traditional pattern. At the age of thirteen Leonardo with his father moved from his estate to Florence where Piero da Vinci wanted to start a business. But at that time bastard wasn’t allowed to become a doctor or a lawyer, that’s why his father sent him to learn from the artist. Artists weren’t reputed as elite and were practically craftspeople, but their status was higher than tailors’. Moreover, Florence treated artists with more respect than other European cities.

Father gave Leonardo in good hands. Andrea del Verrocchio was one of the best artists of Tuscany painting school. He devoted himself not only to painting and sculpture but to jewelry work, bronze casting; he was also considered to be an unbeaten organizer of festive occasions. From 1467 till 1472 Leonardo studied, and his artistic talent was appreciated by Florence people and by his teacher. Acknowledgement at the age of twenty was an outstanding achievement. When Verrocchio got a big order to paint a picture “Epithany of Chist”, like every famous artist he painted only a central figure and elaborated picture’s general plan, but secondary details were painted by his pupils. And Leonardo managed to break traditions of painting by using oil-bound paint which was new for that time. Everyone used tempera paints (water, egg yolk, little vine vinegar and coloured pigments), so against the background of other pupils’ dim works Leonardo’s angel was practically shining like holy. According to the legend when Verrocchio saw his pupil’s work he emotionally exclaimed that he was excelled by Leonardo. And after that only Leonardo was worthy to paint faces.

But Leonardo worked not only with oil-bound paint. He mastered many techniques of putting paints including silver pencil, Italian pencil, pictures with feather pens. In 1472 his schooling was finished and Leonardo was accepted in Saint Luke’s painters’ guild. But he stayed in his teacher’s home and helped him in different things not as a senior apprentice but as equal. Only four years later Leonardo opened his own studio but he didn’t work calmly for a long time – official body got information that Leonardo is guilty in sodomy, soon he was arrested. But investigators didn’t have facts that confirm Leonardo and his three friends’ accusation in a crime which was punished in Florence by burning near a pillory. But it wasn’t easy to leave the trial – the arrested were freed only after a good flogging. Historians claim that this democratic court sentence was connected with the fact that one of the accused was an heir of an eminent nobleman of Florence.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine