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Leonardo Da Vinci

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Leonardo da Vinci was an all around Renaissance Man, who accomplished many things during his life. He was a celebrated painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, scientist and inventor. Innovations of his paintings influenced Italian art a century after his death. His scientific studies such as anatomy, optics, and hydraulics led to the development of modern science.

He was born in a town in Tuscany, near Florence. His dad was a wealthy Florentine notary, and his mom was peasant woman. In the mid-1460's his family and he settled in Florence, where he was given the best education that a major intellectual and artistic center could offer. There he rapidly advanced socially and intellectually. At first he became an apprentice for Andrea del Verrocchio, the leading painter and sculptor at that time. Then in 1478 he became an independent master. He was first commissioned to paint an altarpiece for the chapel of the Palazzo Vecchio, the Florentine town hall, which was never executed. Other works that he's done in his youth are; Benois Madonna, Ginevra de Benci, and the Saint Jerome.

In about 1482 he went to work for Ludaico Sforza, the duke of Milan. He wrote the duke a letter that stated that he could build portable bridges and that he knew the techniques of constructing bombardments and making cannons. He also wrote that he could build ships as good as armored vehicles, catapults, and other war machines. He served as the principle engineer in the duke's military enterprises and was an active architect of his.

While in Milan it was said that he had apprentices and pupils. The most important painting during the early Milan period was The Virgin of the Rocks. Then from 1495 to 1497 he labored on The Last Supper, a mural in the refectory of the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. Unfortunately by the 1500 it had started to deteriorate because of his experimental use of oil on dry plaster.

While he was in Milan, he produced other paintings and drawings, theater designs, architectural drawings, and models for the dome of Milan Cathedral. His largest commission while he was there was a bronze monument, made for the duke's father. He left the statue unfinished and returned to Florence in 1500.

In 1502 he entered the Cesare Borgia, d

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