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Jackson Keim

Mrs. Reiboldt

English 2

20 March 2017

History of Leonardo Da Vinci

    This English report is going to talk about Leonardo Da Vinci. Around the world this man was and still is one of the most renowned painters in the world. But he was not only considered one of the most renowned painters in the world; he was considered an architect, weapons engineer, and an inventor. Later on in this report it will talk about Leonardo having all of these qualities and other ones that will be fascinating.

    Leonardo was born in a village called Anchiano, near a town named Vinci, in the year of 1452.(Finnan) He had spent his early years on his father’s family estate.(Zimmermann) He was also raised by his grandparents.(Stevens) Unfortunately he never meet his father until 1469, after he met him Leonardo lived with his father in Florence on the Piazza San Firenze.(Finnan)

When Leonardo was in school he, of course, took the required education and he also had to learn Latin, but he wasn’t taught it very well. Because in some of Leonardo’s documents you can see that he had written in Latin; but it seem as if he was struggling with it. So he would, sometimes, have to read translations of certain documents instead of the originals.(Finnan)

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When Leonardo was fourteen his father started to see how talented his son was, so he sent his son to become Verrocchio’s apprentice to study and learn in Verrocchio’s workshop.(Finnan)

Verrocchio was considered the most renowned painter of his time; there would have been other painters in the workshop, like Botticelli and Ghirlandaio; but Leonardo would, usually, only work with Verrocchio. While Leonardo was in the workshop he would keep learning and gaining more skills like: metalwork, perspective, plaster casting, carpentry, mechanics, painting, and drawing.(Finnan)

Later in 1472, at the age of 20, Leonardo became a “Master” in the Guild of Painters and soon owned his own workshop in Florence. Then in 1473 he painted his ‘Annunciation’ while he was still living with Verrocchio. Some of his other paintings, during his first time in Florence, were the ‘Portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci’, ‘the Benois Madonna’, and the unfinished painting of ‘St. Jerome’. Also Leonardo was ordered to paint an altarpiece, ‘The Adoration of the Magi’, just outside of Florence for a monastery. ‘The Adoration of Magi’ painting about eight square feet; but sadly it was not completely finished. The reason why the painting was not finished was because Leonardo had left for Milan from Florence.(Finnan)

Ten years later, in 1483, Leonardo was hired by Sforza, who later became the Duke of Milan.(Stevens) When Sforza hired Leonardo, Leonardo became the Duke’s military engineer; also when he had free time he painted, sculpted, and did architecture.(Janson)

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When he first arrived at Milan, he painted ‘The Virgin of the Rocks’; since the painting ‘Adoration’ was unfinished it was believed that it would look like this painting. ‘The Virgin of the Rocks’ is about the child St. John adoring the child Christ in front of the Virgin and the Angel. Even after many years no one still can’t seem to figure out what this painting is suppose to mean.(Janson)

Another one of the paintings that he made at this time was the “Last Supper”. He painted this painting on the wall in the dining room of the Santa Maria delle Grazie monastery. The painting of ‘The Last Supper’ was whenever Jesus told the apostles that he would be betrayed. Before he painted ‘The Last Supper’ he put plaster on the wall where he was going to paint it, but over the years it would peel so they would have to repaint some of it as time goes by.(Stevens)

Leonardo was a man of many skills, but one that is hardly mentioned; that one skill is that he both made and played his own music. The Moors were people that were fairly fond of both, his music and his engineering expertise.(Nicholl)

    The War of Ferrara was the reason why some of Leonardo’s paintings and some of his other projects were unfinished. But he would also get sidetracked by other things that interest him. Later he started jotting down his thoughts and ideas in journals. Some journals held many of drawings like: a “flying machine”, as he called it; bicycles; drawings of a fetus in the utero; the human skeleton; and many other drawings.(Zimmermann)

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There were also other drawings of machines and lists of different military tools, which he knew how to produce. One of the examples of the drawings is a portable cannon or mortar and it would shoot out small rocks, kind of like a hailstorm. There was a sketch of a town that was fortified that was continuously being attacked. This drawing was found in 1484 in a town called Windsor.(Nicholl)

There is another drawing called ‘Pleasure and Pain’ and it shows one set of legs,  one foot in mud and one foot in gold. It also shows two torsos, each with their own set of arms and heads; one as old man and the other as is young, pretty and long-haired. On this drawing it there is a phrase that says “ on this drawing it there is a phrase that says “Pleasure and Pain show themselves as twins, because the one is never without the other, as if, they were stuck together.” another port said if you take pleasure know that he has behind him one who will bring you tribulation and repentance.” The old man in the drawing is called Pain and the young one is called Pleasure. The tribulation that is mentioned in the text is shown as small spiked objects that are falling from the old man\'s right hand which are called caltrops, And in the other hand he holds a branch that represents the flagellum of repentance. Pleasure holds two different things, he has coins falling from his hand (this means that pleasure is expensive) and holds a reed in his other hand. Leonardo da Vinci explains the read in pleasures hand like so: “with a read in his right hand, which is useless and has no strength, and the wounds it in flicks are poisonous”.(Nicholl)

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There was also another drawing called ‘Virtue and Envy’ and it is very similar to the ‘Pleasure and Pain’ drawing. They both are even drawn the same way. In the same idea that they both opposites but are together. Virtue is the better side of someone, but Envy is what brings down and degrades someone. It shows two bodies that are stuck together but both have different looks to them. In this certain drawing Envy is being stabbed in the eye with an olive branch and in the ear with a branch of laurel or myrtle. As Leonardo explains it, “it was to signify that victory and truth offend her”. There was a phrase written on the drawing and it says “the moment Virtue is born she gives birth to Envy against herself, for you will sooner find a body without a shadow than Virtue without Envy.”(Nicholl)

In 1485, Leonardo was in the middle of the bubonic plague in Milan. He had already experienced this before in Florence, but it only lasted a few weeks. He had talked about different things that had happened at this time, like an eclipse. Leonardo actually watched an eclipse through a large sheet of perforated paper, and recommended it as the best way to watch an eclipse. Leonardo had also talked about the people and with the disease was like that they were carrying, “this congregation of people hurting together like goats, one behind the other, filling every corner with stench and spreading pestilence and death”. There was also a recording of a recipe for medicine and it was probably a plague nostrum. The ingredients for this were:

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“Take seed of medicinal darnal…

Spirits of wine in cotton

Some white henbane

Some teasel

Seed and root of aconite

Dry it all. Mix this powder with camphor and it is made.”(Nicholl)

Even the Leonardo is very well known for his paintings he is also known for his notebooks that are filled with sketches, drawings, ideas, texts, and some other different things. One of them was called ‘Codex on the Flight of Birds’; it is really hard to see in person, because it is rarely shown on display. The main reason why it is not on display, is because it is put away for its own protection. Later a self-portrait was found of Leonardo when he was younger, it was hidden among some of his handwriting. (Morfin)

Into no books there is also blueprints for different military weapons, buildings and inventions. Leonardo would sometimes have instructions or descriptions for the blueprints. There would also be drawings of instruments, and drawings of knives with terrifically curved handles.(Nicholl) In some of his books there were also sketches of different inventions and drawings of the human body. Some of these inventions were: A flying machine, a propeller, and different types of weapons for war. He designed these machines hundreds of years before they were ever developed. He had also designed and built bridges, canals, and locks to carry water and move ships. He also created a

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helicopter, that couldn\'t take off, and a glider which one of his students were injured trying to fly it. After that he had stopped making flying machines.(Stevens)

Another one of his early notebooks was the Codex Trivulzianus, also considered the Trivulzio Codex. This one had drawings of architecture, humorous drawings and some of Leonardo\'s earliest grotesque drawings. but it also had Latin vocabulary lists in a lot of its pages. There were hundreds of Latin words in it, and some of them were translated into Italian. The way it is written and makes it seem like it was forced, like homework. In one of it earlier pages is a column of five words:






Whenever you first look at these words they look like a vocabulary list, but they are really shortened book titles.(Nicholl) ‘Codex Leicester’ is another book that held A great number of Leonardo\'s documents. This one is just like the ‘Codex of the Flight of Birds’ it also holds different kinds of sketches, drawings and texts. Another strange thing about this book is that Leonardo wrote in a way that hardly any would. It is called \'mirror writing\', it is basically writing from the right to the left. But this book was mainly about water and how water would react with different environments. In this book was written between the years of 1504-1508 and it was finally published in 1510.(Morfin)

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One of Leonardo da Vinci\'s most famous drawing is ‘The Vitruvian Man’, it is a drawing of a naked man inside of a circle in a square. The drawing has two different positions of the man\'s legs and arms but one of them are faint, and it was used to study the proportions of the human body.(Finnan)

Being in engineering and architecture were probably more important to Leonardo than his paintings. Leonardo; including Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bramante; created the blueprints for the Saint Peter\'s Church in Rome and other buildings in the Vatican.(Stevens) In Leonardo second time in Florence he made paintings for a fresco that was for the Grand Council Hall of the Palazza Signoria. He had competed with Michelangelo, unintentionally, because he also was asked to make a painting for the Grand Council Hall of the Palazza Signoria as well. Michelangelo chose The battle of Cascina, which was the war between Pisa and Florence, to be the topic of his paintings. Leonardo decided to choose the Battle of Anghiari, this was the battle in which Florentine forces one against the Milanese mercenaries in 1440. This painting was, unfortunately, not officially finished by Leonardo, but it was later finished by another artist.(Finnan)

Another one of Leonardo da Vinci\'s paintings is called the La Bella Principessa. This painting is believed to be Bianca Sforza, Who was a young teenager at the time. This painting was drawn with colored chalk and ink. (painted in the 1490s)(Morfin)

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The only sculpture, that we know of, that Leonardo made was the ‘Horse and Rider’. It has been believed that after Leonardo\'s death his apprentice had held onto the sculpture until the 20th century. The sculpture is 12\" x 12\" x 7\". It is said that on the

sculpture Leonardo had put his fingerprint on it. Leonardo sculpted it around the year of 1508.(Morfin)

The painting called ‘portrait of a man in red chalk’ is believed to be a self portrait of Leonardo around the year of 1510, when he was about 60 years old.(Zimmermann) As it says in the title this painting was made with the red chalk. This drawing was surprisingly hidden from Adolf Hitler in World War II, and many other people had believed that it had magical powers. There were some people that thought this drawing was a self portrait of Leonardo, but other people thought that it wasn\'t a self-portrait and thought it was just a drawing of some other person.(Morfin)

by September 1513 Leonardo was in Rome. Around this time he was famously considered a great engineer, and was told to drain the Pontine Marshes around the city. He was surprisingly allowed to dissect of human body that allowed him to continue his research on the human body. Even though it was banned to do such a thing, they believed he was looking for the “seat of the soul”, so the Roman church allowed him to do so. People have been talking about Leonardo and we\'re saying that he was the

sorcerer, and that was the only thing that ceased his studies of the human body. In the year of 1516, King Francis the first offered Leonardo a place on the Loire river. And King Francis The first had given him many titles, he had become a very famous man

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thanks to king Francis the first. Soon on 23 April 1519 he had written his last will and testament. Then he later died on May 2 1519 at the age of 67.(Finnan) it is also said that when he died King Francis was there at his death, holding Leonardo as he died from a seizure.(Nicholl)

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