Leonardo da Vinci, arguably the most exceptional creative mind ever to live on Earth, left this world 500 years ago in 1519. The world celebrates the life of this legendary man. With his sheer brilliance and curiosities, Leonardo solved many complex mysteries of the world at that time. His work was so forward in time that his generation couldn’t even understand the magnitude of his inventions. As the world progressed, the world started realizing the level of his work more and more. People still believe that even today, some of his inventions haven’t been understood, and with time, more of his theories would come good.
The Early Life and Inspiration of Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo was born to an unmarried couple on 15th April 1452, in a small village called Vinci, about 20 miles from Florence. He spent his childhood with his father’s family, where he never felt like an illegitimate son. All his family members, including his stepmother, were friendly and caring to him. His father worked as a notary, which was a respectful profession at that time. He received standard education like writing, reading, and knowledge of numbers, in his childhood. There is not much knowledge out there about his childhood, as getting information about anyone was a challenging thing in those days. When Leonardo turned 15, his father sent him to a famous artist of Florence in those days, Andrea del Verrocchio for the apprenticeship. Leonardo learned a lot of intricate tricks of sculpting and painting from Verrocchio. In 1472, painter’s guild accepted Leonardo as their member, but he didn’t leave Verrocchio’s workshop and kept working under him.
In 1478, Leonardo decided to leave Verrocchio’s workshop and started working as an independent artist. He worked independently till 1482 before the Duke of the city of Milan invited him to work in the Royal courtyard. Leonardo was highly respected and liked by the Duke and members of the Royal circle because of his mastery and dignified personality. The Royal family would always consult Leonardo in any matter regarding art or engineering. He is said to have finished six paintings during his time in the court of Milan’s Duke. Leonardo also had a workshop, where he trained new painters and sculptors.
In the year 1499, Leonardo left the city of Milan, after the French conquered the city. After leaving Milan, Leonardo returned to Florence and worked there for the next few years. It was during this time that he did most of his scientific research, and invented new scientific theories. His worked ranged from architecture to cartography to engineering. Leonardo also painted his most famous painting, ‘Mona Lisa’ during this period in Florence. He returned to Milan in the year 1508. King Louis XII was very fond of Leonardo. Leonardo stayed in Milan for five years, after which he had to leave the city due to political uncertainty.
The 500 Year Celebration
As part of the celebrating 500 years of Leonardo’s influence to the world of art and Italian culture, several restoration have been in motion since 2013. However, since many of the restoration was still not completed, it was stopped for the public to view his works since May 2019. Exhibitions to showcase his work was hosted in different areas of Italy where the artist was known to have lived in, worked on or where his work is portrayed. Some of these places were in Loire, the Ambrosiana Museum, the Chateau de Chambord and in Milan. The art ranged from his murals to his famous portraits to even the architectural influences that Leonardo had on the art world.