Never one to shy away from a challenge, his ideas were often phenomenally visionary in scope … he even laid out plans to divert an entire river. In spite of these other endeavours Leonardo was, and still is, predominantly celebrated for his art, although in fact only a handful of his finished paintings survive today. This is no coincidence … Leonardo began countless projects, but finished very few. Even the paintings he did finish suffered from his constant innovation, often deteriorating as a result of the brand new application techniques he used on them.
His inventions tended to suffer from the same lack of realization … most were never built, although there have been some astounding modern attempts to replicate them. Of course, these fascinating notebooks themselves have their own peculiarities.
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Not only did he paint one of the most breathtaking and talked-about paintings of all time, he also created designs for a prototype helicopter, an enormous equestrian statue and an amazing armoured tank. Leonardo was a multitalented man and groundbreaking innovator who excelled at everything he tried.
Perfectly formed to fit the definition of the ultimate Renaissance man, he arguably remains the greatest genius and artist the world has ever seen. Leonardo was born on 15 April ; there is no disputing this.
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However doubt has recently been cast on the assumption that the town of Vinci, located 50 km 32 miles to the west of Florence, deep in the Tuscany region of Italy, was actually the true birthplace of the genius. In the 15th century it was customary for Italians to take the name of their birth city as part of their full identification.
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And so Leonardo, by virtue of being born in Vinci, was known as Leonardo da Vinci. Many scholars agree that he was, indeed, born there. However, not everyone now supports this claim; one popular conflicting theory holds that Leonardo was actually born in Anchiano, a town located about 3 km 2 miles from the outskirts of Vinci. What evidence is there for this? Even if Leonardo was actually born in Anchiano, he clearly spent much of his childhood in Vinci. In addition to this museum, there are other points of interest in Vinci. And modern-day Vinci continues to hold yearly festivals that celebrate Leonardo and his artistic legacy.
But what is perhaps more remarkable is that he was born with absolutely no advantages over his contemporaries. His birth was illegitimate, a distinct disadvantage to someone of his social class in Renaissance Italy. His mother, Caterina, was a year-old peasant girl; his father, Ser Piero di Antonio, was a year-old notary. A wedding was forbidden between the two young lovers because of their class difference, and Ser Piero was hastily married off to a more appropriate mate named Albiera. Class status was significant, especially in the newly developed Italian middle classes.
In the upper classes, illegitimate children were treated more or less like legitimate children, and they could inherit property and social status from their fathers. At that time the position of notary was similar to a lawyer, and Ser Piero boasted a relatively privileged position in society. With the gift of hindsight scholars tend to view this handicap as fortuitous, leaving Leonardo free to pursue life as an artist, and so much more. Although illegitimate, Leonardo was by no means alone in the world. Both his mother Caterina and his father Ser Piero married new partners and produced many other children, eventually … and as far as we know … leaving Leonardo with an incredible 17 half brothers and sisters.
Ser Piero was married four times and produced 12 siblings for Leonardo. His first two wives Albiera and Francesca died young and bore no children. His third wife, Margherita, gave birth to two sons and one daughter:. Exceptional customer service Get specialist help and advice. Newsletter Google 4.
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