A Brief Look at Leonardo da Vinci’s Life
Sketch Leonardo made of an unborn baby.
|Events in Leonardo’s Life
|Leonardo’s Birth at Anchiano, two miles from Vinci – He lives with his mother.
|Leonardo moves to Vinci to live with his Grandparents.
|Moves to Florence with his father to apprentice in Andrea Verrocchio’s workshop.
|Leonardo paints angel in Verrocchio’s Baptism of Christ (left hand corner of painting); he is also accepted into the Painters’ Guild that year.
|Leonardo makes his Landscape Drawing, his oldest surviving drawing.
|Leonardo works for Duke Lorenzo de Medici, a patron of the arts.
|Commissioned for Adoration of the Magi, first large painting – which like so many others, he leaves unfinished!
|Leonardo offers service as engineer, architect, sculptor, and painter, to Duke of Milan.
|Moves to Milan; contracted for first Virgin of the Rocks, that he doesn’t finish; starts initial sketches for the equestrian statue for Duke of Milan. The Duke quickly asks it to be made three – four times lifesize.
|First Anatomical drawings appear in his notebooks.
|Leonardo directs feasts and pageants; starts serious work in notebooks; makes scale model for equestrian statue; considers making a telescope.
|Builds full-scale clay model of the equestrian statue, unveiled for wedding.
|May have painted second Virgin of the Rocks; begins construction of canal and molds for statue. Leonardo also spends some time away from Milan, in Pavia studying.
|Begins Last Supper in the dining room at the Santa Maria delle Grazie (finishes in 1497). He also teaches himself Latin and makes sketches for a “humanoid” robot.
|Leonardo illustrates Pacioli’s new geometry book, On Divine Proportion.
|Leonardo plans to publish his notebooks; writes book on theory of mechanics. He meets with other artists at an “Academia” to discuss artistic theories.
|Leonardo’s clay horse is destroyed by French soldiers invading Milan.
|Leonardo leaves Milan after it falls to the French; he makes his way to Mantua, Venice, and then back to Florence, where he begins work on Madonna and Child with St Anne. The Last Supper mural is already deteriorating.
|Leonardo serves as military engineer and cartographer to Cesare Borgia; traveling with the army throughout Romagna. Leonardo designs a bridge for the Sultan.
|Commissioned for painting of Battle of Anghiari; begins Mona Lisa (working intermittently on both). He also works on plans for canal from Florence to the sea and experiments with flying.
|Finishes full-size sketch of Battle painting; does many nature sketches.
|Summoned to Milan by the French governor; stops work on Battle painting; apparently finishes Mona Lisa (but never relinquishes it).
|Brief trip back to Florence; makes plans again to publish notebooks.
|Returns to Milan, where he is employed by French King Louis XII, currently living there; begins major anatomical research.
|Leonardo goes to Rome, at request of Pope Leo X’s brother, Giuliano. He opens art studio but concentrates on his science work.
|Back in Florence for a short time, paints only self-portrait.
|Constructs mechanical lion for Francis I’s coronation. Leonardo is forbidden by Pope from doing more human dissections. Paints last known picture: St John the Baptist.
|Leonardo moves to Amboise, France to work for King Francis I as “Premier Painter and Engineer and Architect of the King” (takes several paintings with him, including the Mona Lisa). His right hand is paralyzed by a stroke.
|Leonardo writes his will on April 23rd, dies on May 2nd.
(French King) Francis I Receives the Last Breaths of Leonardo da Vinci
Painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, 1818