Have you ever heard of the term, Renaissance Man? It means someone who is well-versed, that is to say, very talented and knowledgeable about many things. Leonardo da Vinci had many jobs in his life. As a painter, he created the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. He was also a sculptor, an architect, a military engineer, an inventor of weapons and vehicles, among other creations. As if that weren't enough, Leonardo was also a musician and a scientist. Did you know he created the first blueprints for the helicopter? Therefore, I intend to prove that Leonardo da Vinci was one of the most important figures of the Renaissance period, influencing modern painting, architecture and even science.
According to the Grolier Online Encyclopedia, he was born in 1492, in a little mountain village in the Tuscany region of Italy called Vinci (Bloom 34). In 1469, an artist in Florence named Andrea del Verrocchio took Leonardo on as an apprentice in his workshop when he was just seventeen years old.
Starting in 1482, the Duke of Milan employed Leonardo to supervise court entertainments, build military equipment, install a central heating system in his palace, and paint The Last Supper. Over the years, Leonardo filled many notebooks with ingenious ideas for inventions in the twentieth century. Leonardo had many interests besides paintings, sculptures, and inventions. Art historian John Francis writes, "da Vince was quite simply a master of several forms and disciplines. He defined the renaissance age" (Rosand 12). He was fascinated by what is inside the human body and intricate structure of plants. Leonardo returned to Florence in 1503. There, her painted the Mona Lisa, probably the most famous painting in the world. Art critic Harold Bloom wrote, "The Mona Lisa is the first modernist painting. It is a portrait of the human psyche learning to examine itself" (Bloom 90).
He died in Amboise, France, in 1519, at the age of 67.