Leonardo da Vinci: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Leonardo da Vinci.

  • Leonardo da Vinci was one of the most important figures of the Renaissance. He was born in 1452 in Vinci, Italy and died in 1519 in France.
  • Da Vinci is best known as an artist, and painted the Mona Lisa, perhaps the world’s most famous painting. However, he was also an architect, engineer, writer, geologist and mathematician.

  • He was also an inventor, and in some cases was centuries ahead of his time. He designed or visualized an adding machine, a tank, a machine gun, solar power and a flying machine.
  • Leonardo da Vinci became an apprentice in a Florence workshop at the age of 14 and painted the Baptism of Christ. He was also employed to devise a way to protect Venice from an attack by sea.
  • Da Vinci painted The Last Supper in 1490, for a convent in Milan. He would often paint from dawn until dusk without eating, and he apparently used the Prior as a model for Judas.
  • In 1502, he produced a design for a 220m bridge in Turkey which was never built. However, a bridge based on the design was built in Norway in 2001.
  • The Mona Lisa was painted between 1503 and 1507, and is known for its use of perspective and subject’s enigmatic smile. The painting is behind bullet proof glass in the Louvre Museum, Paris.
  • Leonardo da Vinci wrote many notes using mirror writing, perhaps to keep them secret. Among his surviving papers are shopping lists and lists of those who owed him money.

Leonardo da Vinci

  • He was a vegetarian and often set free caged birds. He also dug up bodies from graveyards at night, so that he could study the human anatomy.
  • Leonardo da Vinci was buried in a castle in Amboise, France. At his funeral, 60 beggars joined in the procession as he had requested in his will.
  • Leonardo, one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was named after Leonardo da Vinci.

What next? Click the link to discover more facts about other famous artists.