The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline!

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

 

-CONTENTS -

EARLY YEARS

APPRENTICE

PROFESSIONAL

1478 FLORENCE

1482 MILAN

1500 VENICE

MANTUA

1503 FLORENCE

1507 MILAN

PAVIA

1513 MILAN

ROME

FRANCE

 

 

Mona Lisa! / La Gioconda


Over Leonardo's lifetime, every piece of work produced by Leonardo was and still is, a Masterpiece.

Below, you can travel the timeline of Leonardo Da Vinci's prolific life to better understand this Genius amongst Genius's*.

(*This page will be added to on a regular basis as the history of Leonardo Da Vinci, his life and works were prolific by any standard).


Updated: 30/MAY/09 16:15 GMT

(Content edited on Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline since 02/MAY/09)

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~
THE EARLY YEARS
FLORENCE, ITALY
Leonardo was born on 15th April 1452 and would die on 2nd May 1519 at the age of 67.

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1452, 

April 15th,

3 am

(0 years old)

BORN

Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the village of Anchiano, Florence, Italy.

 

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anchiano-florence

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Leonardo was the Illegitimate son of a peasant girl called Caterina.  His father was a Florentine notary named Ser Piero da Vinci.

Piero was not allowed to marry Caterina, the girl who he had a liaison with,as she was from a substantially lower social standing.

Leonardo was brought up by his stepmother called Dona Albiera but was still wet nursed till the age of two by his real mother.  Both mothers cared for Leonardo deeply. Caterina then left to be married to a man in the neighbouring village.

 

The family name of Vinci is the town name in which Leonardo was born in.

Leonardo was baptised in the Christian religion under the name of Lionardo.

Leonardo's grandfather had made the following entry in the civic records;

’On Saturday at three o’clock at night on April 15th a grandson of mine was born. Son of my son, Piero, he was named Leonardo.'

 

 

OMEN

Leonardo's earliest memory is of a Hawk which had landed on the edge of his crib with its' wings flapping in his face. The hawk seemed ominously to be telling him something. . .

 

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hawk

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Leonardo took this as an Omen that he is meant to fly, someday.  Hence his fascination with flight.

Following is a quote by Leonardo later in his life where he tells us of this incident; ’It comes to me almost like a dream, the first recollection of my infancy. I was in my cradle and a great hawk flew down to me. It opened my mouth with its tail and its feathers struck me several times inside my lips. That bird seems to me now to have pointed me to my destiny.’

Instead of forming a phobia of Birds, Leonardo chose to see a positive message giving evidence of his fearless nature.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1457

(5 years old)

Moved to Vinci, which is approximately 3 miles from the village, he was born in.

 

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tuscany-village

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Leonardo was sent to live with his Grandfather's household.

Being labelled illegitimate meant that he was not socially declared as Ser Piero's son even though he lived with Ser Piero's family.

 

EXPLORING NATURE

Leonardo was captivated by his exploration of the nature local to where he lived.

 

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tuscany-nature

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Leonardo treated his surroundings as a laboratory as well as his playground.

The following is a quote from Leonardo later in life of his immense love of nature; ’I was never as happy as when exploring the Tuscan countryside as a child, observing Nature. She is the source of all true knowledge. She has her own logic, her own laws. She has no effect without cause. She has no invention without necessity.'

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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SCHOOLING

Due to being illegitimate, Leonardo's formal schooling at a young age was a basic curriculum of an 'abacus school' comprised of simple maths.

Leonardo did not show any particular  signs of aptitude in his basic and informal classical studies at home.

 

 

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abacus

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A picture of an ‘abacus’, an ancient and basic mathematical device.

 

Leonardo received an informal education of Latin, geometry and mathematics alongside reading and writing Italian.

His working notes throughout his life were made in Italian and not in the more academic language of Latin.

Leonardo would later endeavour to learn more Latin as he felt he had not learnt adequately enough in school.

 

APTITUDE FOR THE ARTS

Leonardo is believed to have had an aptitude for music and a general expression of the Arts, which showed through his drawings.

 

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Dragon

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Leonardo's father was extremely impressed with his son's artwork.  So much so that he sold one of his drawings to a collector.

In recognition of Leonardo's artistic abilities, Ser Piero decided to find his son an apprenticeship as an Artisan.  

Being an artisan was a lowly respected profession especially compared to his fathers' occupation of being a member of the legal profession.

Apprenticeships were commonplace at the time of Leonardo. 

The occupation of Artisan was similar to being a tailor today in terms of social standing.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1466

(14 years old)

Leonardo was taken to the centre of Florence to seek an apprenticeship as an Artisan.

 

FLORENCE

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florence 1466

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- Not by Leonardo-

Drawing of the city of Florence in 1466 

 

 

 

 

      Back to Contents      
~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~
APPRENTICE OF VERROCCHIO'S WORKSHOP
FLORENCE, ITALY
Leonardo would officially become Verrocchio's apprentice for the next 6 years and stay in his workshop for the next 12 years.

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1466

(14 years old)

APPRENTICE

Leonardo's father took his son to be apprenticed to one of the finest Artists known at the time called Andrea Del Verrocchio.  Ser Piero showed one of Leonardo's drawings and was accepted as an apprentice at once.

 

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verrocchio-by-lorenzo-di-Credi

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Portrait of Verrocio by artist called Lorenzo di Credi.  

Lorenzo was said to have influenced Leonardo in Verroccio's workshop but later became inspired by Leonardo.

 

Verrocchio was a multi-faceted artist who's workshop encompassed painting, goldsmithing, casting bronze and sculpting.

Leonardo's apprenticeship guaranteed that he would be taught the subject of Humanities and the many artistic trades of the workshop. This included the fundamentals of traditional painting and sculpting techniques.

Leonardo (and all the other apprentices) lived in the workshop for the duration of being an apprentice.

 

Apprentices of around the age of 14 years old were taught every types of skills within their trade.

Leonardo would have began his apprenticeship by mixing colours and painting small sections of paintings.

 

SIGN OF GENIUS

 Baptism of Christ

(Painting)

Monks of San Salvi

BAPTISM OF CHRIST

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Baptism of Christ

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Leonardo painted the angel figure on the left.

Leonardo painted his portion of the painting in oil paint instead of the traditional egg tempera method.

An x-ray conducted by an art detective revealed that the pencil drawing Verrocchio etched for Leonardo to paint was starkly different to the figure Leonardo painted. Leonardo had shown initiative in re-drawing and painting his own vision for the angel.

Leonardo only painted the kneeling angel on the left, Verroccio painted the rest.

Upon seeing the magnificence of the angel's facial expression that Leonardo had painted, Verrocchio vowed to never paint again.

His young student had already surpassed his teacher.

Oil paint allows for a greater ease of application of the paint and can portray a greater depth of feeling in the colours compared to the traditional egg tempera paint.

Leonardo introduced the new medium of oil painting to Verrocchio's Workshop, which was a painting technique developed and being used by the Dutch Artists.  Leonardo had however possibly reinvented the process.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1472

(20 years old)

GUILD

Leonardo's name was printed in the 'Campagnia de Pittori' (Register of painters) to reflect his membership with the Painters Guild of Florence

 

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Printed snippet with Leonardo's name stated on it with his christened name of 'Lionardo' in the Register of painters

 

 

Entering the Painters Guild of Florence meant that Leonardo was no longer an apprenticeship but  a professional in his own right.

Despite having his own facilities to produce work provided by his father, Leonardo continued to work with Verroccio possibly due to his fondness of him.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1473

August 5th

(21 years old)

FIRST DRAWING

Leonardo's first known drawing 

(Pen & ink)

 

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Dragon

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Pen & ink drawing of a valley that is shaped by a river called 'Arno'.

 

Employed a technique to depict an aerial perspective of the Valley.

Technique became to be known as 'the perspective of disappearance' where the growing depth of distance is shown by a growing lack of detail to allow for an optical illusion.

 

 

1474

(22 years old)

GINEVRA DE' BENCI

(Painting - Oils on poplar wood)

 

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Ginevra De Benci

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The bottom of this painting that contained Ginevra's arms and hands was removed due to damage to the painting.

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ginevra-de-benci-portrait-underside

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The picture shows the underside of the painting

 

A more frontal pose was employed rather than the traditional  side of the head pose as was customary in portraits.

Leonardo placed Ginevra  in front of a juniper bush as in Italian, ‘juniper’ is a pun on her name,  ‘Ginevra’

 

The Juniper bush also symbolised chastity, an especially respected virtue at the time.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1476

(24 years old)

GUILD

Joined Guild of St Luke (For Artists & Doctors of Medicine).

 

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Dragon

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Leonardo kept his own workshop till 1481.

Having a workshop meant that he was the master with apprentices in his employ learning from him while Leonardo delegated work to them to meet his customers' demands.

 

1476

April 8th

(24 years old)

ARRESTED

Leonardo was arrested alongside two friends under an anonymous accusation that he had had a homosexual affair with a male model.

 

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A picture of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence (which still survives today) where Leonardo was anonymously implicated for a crime.

 

Citizens of Florence could anonymously report others for illegal acts of homosexuality at the time by posting their accusations in a wooden box called a Tambura at the front of a building called Palazzo Vecchio. 

One of Leonardo's arrested friends was a son of a nobleman. Leonardo's friend asked his dad to help Leonardo.

Leonardo began to realise that there were individuals jealous of his talents and bore some ill will towards him.  He would therefore become much  more aware and weary of such individuals.

Leonardo had written on a piece of paper while under suspicion of this crime; ’ I am without any friends.’’

On the other side of that piece of paper he wrote ’If there is no love . . . what then?'

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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ACQUITTED

Leonardo was acquitted as innocent and freed from jail for the act of homosexuality

 

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Leonardo and his friend were given a light beating as punishment.

 

      Back to Contents      
~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~
PROFESSIONAL
FLORENCE, ITALY
Leonardo stayed in Florence as an professional in his own right for the next four years. 

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1478

(26 years old)

COMMISSION

Paint altarpiece

Chapel of St Bernard

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Dragon

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MASTERPIECE

The Benois Madonna

 

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Benois Madonna

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DRAWING

Madonna with child and cat

 

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Leonardo has a sketch in his notes of a composition for a painting including a cat that he was possibly going to paint.

Leonardo will later conduct lots of anatomical drawings of animals

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1481

(29 years old)

INCOMPLETE MASTERPIECE

St Jerome

(Cartoon)

 

ST JEROME

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st-jerome

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This work is unfinished

 

 

This cartoon contains a lion which, lends itself well to Leonardo's interest of animals

 

 

PAINTING

The Annunciation

(Larger Painting)

 

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Annunciation – Larger version

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There is some debate from Art historians if this is actually an authentic Leonardo piece or if it is a work of his colleague from Verrocchios' workshop, Lorenzo di Credi

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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PAINTING

The Annunciation 

(Smaller painting)

 

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The Annunciation – Smaller version

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There is some debate from Art historians if this is actually an authentic Leonardo piece or if it is a work of his colleague from Verrocchios' workshop, Lorenzo di Credi

This painting is believed to be less likely not to be Leonardo's artwork than the larger Annunciation painting. 

 

MASTERPIECE

The Adoration of the Magi 

(Cartoon)

Monks of Scopeto/

Church St. Donato Scopeto

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adoration-of-magi

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This painting is unfinished.

Leonardo had only painted the ground in the picture.

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These are Leonardo's groundwork drawings for the painting from his notebooks.

 

In the background of the picture, two soldiers can be seen fighting one another on horseback.  This animated scene will be developed further by Leonardo in full effect later on in his painting of the Battle of Anghiari

 

Leonardo dropped his work on this painting to instead provide his services to Duke Ludovico Sforza

Leonardo found the faces for this masterpiece in the streets and the marketplace in Florence.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1482

(30 years old)

MUSIC

Leonardo creates a Lyre.

(Musical instrument made of Silver)

Lorenzo de’ Medici

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lyre-silver-horse-head

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This is NOT a Leonardo lyre.

This is a representation what a 'lyre' generally looks like.

It is unknown what Leonardo's magnificent creation would have looked like exactly. Also, it would have been made in the shape of a Horses' head.

 

Shaped in a Horse's head

Lorenzo de’ Medici was astounded by the workmanship that he sent Leonardo with the Lyre to offer peace to Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan

 

 

LETTER

Leonardo writes a letter to Ludovico Sforza  (Duke of Milan) in order to show his many talents in order to gain work.

 

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Leonardo wanted to impress the prospective patron with his engineering abilities and what he could offer in this area, whilst also mentioning that he paints.

The letter sent to the Duke of Milan is comparable to a modern-day covering letter.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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DELIVERY OF GIFT & RELOCATION

Leonardo travelled to Milan to offer the Lyre he made and his skill in playing the instrument to the Duke of Milan.  Leonardo also intends to gain the Dukes patronage.

Lorenzo de’ Medici

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      Back to Contents      
~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~
MILAN, ITALY
Leonardo would be in Ludovico's services for around the next 17 years and will be underpaid for the whole duration. Leonardo will argue the point on occasion, especially to get back pay.

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1482

(30 years old)

Leonardo's first job was to fit a type of central heating and to design drainage facilities for the bathroom of the Duchess of Milan.

Ludovico Sforza 

(Duke of Milan)

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ludovico-sforza-de-predis

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- This painting is not by Leonardo -

This is portrait of  Ludovico Sforza is by an artist called Giovanni Ambrogio de Predis.

 

 

Leonardo wanted to work as mainly a military engineer which, would not be the case.

 

 

PARTIES

Leonardo was demanded by his new Patron  to organise parties engineered to glorify the family name of Sforza.

Leonardo would create mesmerising and  unforgettable events.

Ludovico Sforza 

(Duke of Milan)

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Leonardo created mechanical marvels to astound the guests.

Alongside producing parties, he would host and manage the stage performances.

Leonardo designed fantastical masks and costumes which, are evident in his notebooks

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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Leonardo then was assigned to paint the interior walls of the Salsa delle Asse reception room.

Ludovico Sforza 

(Duke of Milan)

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Painted the illusion of tree trunks on the walls with a canopy of trees on the ceiling including detailed leaf patterns.

 

 

 

MASTERPIECE

Virgin of the Rocks - First of two (Without Halo's)

(Painting)

Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception

VIRGIN OF THE ROCKS - WITHOUT HALOS

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Virgin of the Rocks – without Halos

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Leonardo applied his private scientific studies of light and shadow particularly to the faces in the picture.

Leonardo created a revolution within the Arts world of the application of Light and Shadow.

His patrons for this painting did not pay Leonardo as they were incensed that Leonardo had not drawn halos above the heads of the angels and the virgin Mary.

He was asked to paint the painting again with this time adding the halos. 

Leonardo's application of Light and Shadow allowed for greater realism in painting and emotional content.

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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MASTERPIECE

Virgin of the Rocks - Second of two (With Halos)

(Painting)

Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception

VIRGIN OF THE ROCKS - WITH HALOS

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Virgin of the Rocks – with Halos

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This painting shows a great ability to duplicate a piece of work to precision.

It is likely that this painting is not entirely painted by Leonardo as he would have asked his apprentices to copy his original version. This would have been a more efficient use of his time and it would give his students an opportunity to practice the use of light and shadow in painting.

 

 

MASTERPIECE

Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani

(Painting)

Ludovico Sforza 

(Duke of Milan)

CECILIA GALLERANI

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Cecilia Gallerani was Ludovico Sforza's mistress

The ermine that Cecilia is clasping is the signature symbol of her lover, Ludovico Sforza

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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 1490

July, 22nd

(38 years old)

THE DEMON

Leonardo receives a new apprentice by the name of Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno. The new apprentice would become Leonardo's closest friend.

 

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- This painting is not by Leonardo -

This painting of Leonardo's new apprentice nicked Salai is by an unknown painter.

 

Giacomo Caprotti's nickname became 'Salai' (The Demon) after Leonardo assigned it to him with affection.

The following is a quote from Leonardo; Giacomo had come to live with me on St Mary Magdalene’s Day, 22nd of July, 1490. The second day he was here, I’d had some clothes made for him. When I put aside the money I had to pay for them, he stole the money. The first night, he’d eaten enough for two people, broken his glass, spilt the wine and smashed a cruet. I decided from that day to call him Salai, 'the demon'.

1492

(40 years old)

Vitruvian Man

Leonardo creates a drawing of the perfect human shape.

 

THE VITRUVIAN MAN

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vitruvian-man

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~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1495

(43 years old)

ROBOTICS

Leonardo designed a Robot Knight from his anatomical understanding of how the body moves. 

 

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Designed and built a Robot.

Leonardo's robot was created and used in a patron's party in order to amaze the guests.

 

The Robot moved through a process of levers made of cables to imitate the muscles and was controlled by a puppeteer; most probably Leonardo himself.

 

FAMILY

Mother dies

 

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Dragon

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COMMISSION STARTED

The Last Supper

(Painting- Fresco)

Ludovico Sforza (Duke of Milan)

 / 

monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie

THE LAST SUPPER SKETCH

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This segment is a drawing from Leonardo's notebook and one of his first plans for the Last Supper painting.

 

 

The painting was to be for the dining room where Ludovico would come to eat with the Monks.

Ludovico asked Leonardo to complete this commission as this monastery became a place of solace for the Duke of Milan when his wife had died.

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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COMMISSION

Created pageants and floats for special occasions

Ludovico Sforza 

(Duke of Milan)

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Dragon

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ARCHITECTURE

Dome designs for the Milan Cathedral

 

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~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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AWE INSPIRING

Clay model for the Gran Cavallo (Bronze Horse)

(Statue)

Lodovico Sforza for the memory of his father, Francesco Sforza

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This picture is a replica as Frances’ invading army destroyed Leonardo’s original clay horse in 1498.

The invading army would have destroyed the horse as it was the symbol for Sforza family, the now fallen rulers.

 

Invented a way to cast a Bronze monument on a huge scale.

Was to be the largest monument cast in Bronze.

The horse was to be 24 feet high.

Though Leonardo only completed the clay pre-model to the Bronze Horse statue, the clay model was said to be awe inspiring and both an artistic and technical masterpiece within itself.

Leonardo studied for a pouring on such a large scale by talking to cannon and bell makers and also casters of bronze in Milan.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1496

3rd January

(43 years old)

 

TEST FLIGHT

Leonardo had recorded in his notes of having conducted a test flight of one of his flying machines.

The pilot flight was recorded as un-successful.

 

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One of Leonardo's later flying designs of  a glider was recently recreated to the specifications of his drawings.  The test was successful and flew for a longer distance and higher altitude than the historic Wright brothers pilot flight.

 

1498

(46 years old)

MASTERPIECE COMPLETED

The Last Supper

(Painting - TEMPERA ON STONE & PLASTER)

Ludovico Sforza (Duke of Milan) 

Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie

THE LAST SUPPER

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The Last Supper painting

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Leonardo's aim was to capture the most poignant moment when Jesus reveals that one of his disciples (Judas) will betray him.

Leonardo invented a new technique to paint on dry plaster (which was more efficient and allowed for the capturing of emotion) rather than the traditional wet plaster method.

Unfortunately, a few years later, the dry plaster would begin to crack as it absorbed water.

Despite the painting being damaged, the painting is still recognised as one of the greatest masterpieces of all time.

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1500

(48 years old)

FLED

Leonardo flees Milan as the ruler is overthrown by the French army and settles in Venice.

 

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Leonardo's patron Ludovico Sforza is overthrown and incarcerated

Leonardo leaves with his closest friend Salai.

 

 

      Back to Contents      
~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~
VENICE, ITALY (& TRAVELLING AROUND ITALY WITH PATRON)
Leonardo will stay in Venice for the next two years.

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UNDERWATER SOLDIERS

Leonardo offers the Venetian councillors (the power lords of the city and whom are called the Doge) his invention of an army that can walk on the seabed and drill holes under invading warships.

 

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Due to the Turkish army which was set to invade Venice soon, Leonardo found this as an excellent opportunity to sell his invention

The Turkish army did not attack and sailed away to protect another part of its empire.

Leonardo was not taken seriously for his design and its benefit

 

RIVALRY WITH FELLOW GENIUS

Michelangelo Buonarroti would vehemently dislike Leonardo and many altercations will occur while both are working in the city.

 

PIETA

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michelangelo's pieta

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This is the masterpiece that Michelangelo produced at the age of 24 and made him a familiar name in Florence.

 

 

Michelangelo is an young upcoming genius artist whose art included sculpting, painting, architecture and poetry.

The rivalry between the two stemmed from the antithesis of their personalities and that Leonardo preferred the peaceful life style of the painter and Michelangelo the gritty life of the sculptor.

Michelangelo was a man known for his disagreeable character.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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UNCOMPLETED COMMISSIONS

Leonardo would take commissions and patrons out of necessity rather than want due to  needing money. He would have patrons that were of questionable character.

 

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Dragon

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Leonardo would often not complete the commissions.

Leonardo will thus develop a reputation of man who does not complete his work, regardless of his obvious genius.  This will make it more difficult for him to find commissions he considers suitable for himself in the future.

 

 

LOST COMMISSION

There were two main contenders of the David, a statue of great size to be made of marble. Michelangelo won the commission most probably due to having a better track record of completing his work.

 

THE WINNERS DAVID

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michelangelo's david

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This masterpiece is what Michelangelo produced from having won the commission from Leonardo.

 

 

 

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1501

(49 years old)

MADONNA WITH YARN-WINDER

(Painting)

 

 

 

MADONNA WITH YARN- WINDER

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madonna-yarnwinder

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Leonardo's original is lost.

This painting is a copy of Leonardo's painting produced by one or more of his apprentices.

 

 

 

 

1502

(50 years old)

MAP

Leonardo astounded a prospective patron, Cesare with an accurate and detailed map of his stronghold of imola.

 

MAP OF IMOLA

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maps-imola-town-italy

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Leonardo had no sophisticated technology to create the map.  He instead walked and measured his paces and achieved perfect measurements.

The map helped verify Leonardo's credentials as a military engineer architect and helped to win his new patrons confidence.

There were very few maps created at the time. Cesare undoubtedly had never seen or possibly heard of a map before.

A map allowed the owner to more successfully implement strategies to protect an area.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1502

Winter

(50 years old)

WARFARE DESIGNER

Leonardo works prominently as military architect and civil engineer for his new patron, most dangerous and powerful men of the time.

Cesare Borgia

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assault-chariot

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Leonardo's design for an assault chariot

 

Cesare Borgia was the most dangerous and powerful man in Italy.

Leonardo now enjoyed unprecedented power in his life to get completed.

The relationship between Leonardo and Cesare was a good match. Like Leonardo, Cesare was extremely ambitious, charismatic. And like Leonardo, he was ready to work with someone who could help him achieve great things. Cesare in particular was looking a person who can provide military ingenuity

Cesare Borgia was an extremely reclusive person.  He however allowed Leonardo in his most private rooms.

1502

(50 years old)

MASTERPIECE

Virgin and Child with St. Anne and John the Baptist 

(Second cartoon - First cartoon is lost)

The Servile monastery of Santissima Annunziata

VIRGIN AND CHILD WITH ST ANNE

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virgin-and-child-st-anne-john-baptist

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This painting is incomplete.

 

 

This cartoon added to Leonardo's fame as it was opened for viewing to the general public and received large crowds.

This painting added to the general perception that Leonardo had a divine gift of painting and drawing.

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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IRRIGATION

Leonardo designed and implemented the draining of giant tracts of land.

 

 

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irrigation and water distributing machine

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This is drawing shows a machine that can lift large amounts of water in order to re-distribute it.

 

 

 

 

 

SECURITY

Designed and implemented town fortifications

 

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town-fortication

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~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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HARBOUR

Created a port design for a harbour in Cesenatico, Italy

 

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survey-of-cesenatico-canal-harbour-codex-L

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RELOCATION

Return to Florence

 

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florence

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Leonardo leaves his patron in a hurry as his friend called Vitellozzo (who was Cesare's lieutenant) was murdered by the request of Cesare.

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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      Back to Contents      
~ Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~
BRIEF STOP IN MANTUA, (VILLAGE IN LOMBARDY), ITALY

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VISIT TO MANTUA

Leonardo came to visit Isabella d’Este, the Marchioness of Mantua.  She had requested for him to paint her portrait after she saw her friends' portrait (Cecilia Gallerani) that Leonardo had painted.

Isabella d’Este

 (Marchioness of Mantua)

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isabella-d-este

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Leonardo's sketch portrait of Isabella.

 

Leonardo created two quick drawings of Isabella to show her and himself what a portrait of her would look like. Leonardo took one of the pictures and left her with the other.

Isabella was a very vain, trying and controlling woman.  Leonardo did never create a portrait painting of her even though she badgered him to do so for the next two years.

 

 

RELOCATION

Continues his passage to Florence

 

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florence

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~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~
FLORENCE, ITALY
Leonardo would stay for three years in Florence.

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WEARY OF THE BRUSH

Leonardo had given up painting due to his annoyance of patrons' idiosyncrasies and in order to focus more on his private studies of nature and science

 

 

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Dragon

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Leonardo was now living in the Servite monastery where the monks were pressuring Leonardo to create some paintings in exchange for his stay.

Leonardo would turn away wealthy patrons who came to him desperate for him to create a portrait of them.

A priest of the Servite monastery by the name of Pietro had noted, ‘Leonardo was by now weary of the brush.’

 Leonardo noted his thoughts of why he disliked patrons, 'From Patron you first get flattery, then hard work, then ingratitude and recriminations.'

1503

(51 years old)

LA GIACONDO

A lady came to Leonardo asking for her portrait to be painted. Leonardo accepted and broke his period of not painting. He then begins work on the Mona Lisa.

 

MONA LISA
(LA GIOGONDA)

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Mona Lisa! / La Gioconda

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Leonardo accepted a commission from a middle-class Florentine house wife (whose husband was a successful silk-merchant) breaking from the tradition of portraying exclusively aristocrats.

Leonardo worked during the day but continued his private studies of anatomy at night in the local hospital Santa Maria Nuovo.

There was something about Lisa del Gioconda that moved Leonardo enough to begin painting again.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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COMMITTEE

Leonardo was asked to be a committee member in charge re-situating Michelangelo's' David statue. 

 

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michelangelo's david

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Leonardo suggested that the statue be placed in the loggia of the Florence Town hall instead of at the front which, Michelangelo wanted.  Leonardo was overruled.

Michelangelo's hostility towards Leonardo grew from his suggestion of where to place the statue.

Leonardo's suggestion to have the statue in doors could have been possibly to him not wanting it to be exposed to the elements of the outdoor weather and therefore last longer.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline! ~

 

BATTLE OF ANGHIARI

Both Leonardo and Michelangelo were given the commission to paint halves of a war scene to be placed in the Palazzo Vecchio in the main room called Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of Five Hundred)

Niccolò Machiavelli

BATTLE OF ANGHIARI

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battle-of-anghiari

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Leonardo's original is lost.

This picture is a painting of the lost Battle of Anghiari said to be a copy of a copy of Leonardo's original.  What's certain is, that it is very impressive.

Oil paint (containing linseed) on plaster instead of the traditional Fresco method.

This was to be the largest painting (Leonardo's half was 30 feet across) that Leonardo had painted in his career to date.

Unfortunately, the painting become ruined due to Leonardo having received and used a bad supply of linseed oil. There was also a leak in the roof of the room.  Here is what Leonardo said about the incident,

'On Friday at the 13th hour, I had just picked up my brush when the great storm began. The church bells rang the alarm. The day was transformed into night as the rain poured down. There was water everywhere. The cartoon began to come apart, piece by piece.'

Leonardo had worked busily in order to create a scene of the likes never seen before. He had finished the work unlike his peer Michelangelo who left the work unfinished when he received an invitation of work in Rome.

Leonardo had researched his subject fully by enveloping himself in the all the details of War and the psychology of battle.

Leonardo had constructed an ingenious folding ladder in order to reach the destination of the painting.

Machiavelli had asked both Leonardo and Michelangelo to paint their halves of 30 feet side by side.  This could have been intentional to have a battle of competition between the two heavy weight artists of the day.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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UNEMPLOYED & WORKING

Now without a Patron, Leonardo instead put his full attention on his private studies encompassing a full spectrum of studies which included what we recognise as the sciences and non-sciences

 

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study-animals-cats

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The above is an example of one of Leonardo's private studies, in this case, of cats.

 

 

 

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline! ~

 

ANATOMY

At the hospital in the monastery of Santa Maria Nuovo, Leonardo was given access to dead bodies to dissect and study to better understand how the body worked.

 

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anatomy-neck

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Leonardo dissected the organs of the body to see what knowledge they could impart on him and also to aid him in reaching a higher perfection of painting people.

Leonardo was the first to ever dissect and study the female body.

As well as helping Leonardo's ultimate goal of understanding how nature worked in totality, his studies would assist him in adding more realism to his art by knowing the workings of natures' greatest creation, human beings.

Leonardo dissected bodies in appalling conditions; the bodies were decaying heavily as there was no method to preserve them and his primary tool for tearing the flesh was his hands and his nails.

Leonardo was allowed only to dissect dead bodies of criminals.  He would later break this rule which, will have great consequences on the freedom of his studies.

Leonardo believed that the human body was simply a  machine of nature regardless of its apparent complexity.  

He saw how that the opposing muscles of the limbs operated very much the  way levers do.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1506

(54 years old)

RELOCATION

Return to Milan

 

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milan

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Leonardo returned to Milan as the French army that had invaded had been driven out and Milan was back in the hands of the Sforza family.

 

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~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~
MILAN, ITALY
Leonardo will remain in Milan for the next three years

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1507

(55 years old)

- MAGNUS OPUS - FINISHED

The Mona Lisa was finished.

 

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Mona Lisa! / La Gioconda

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There are no adornments on the figure to denote her social standing.

Lisa has loose hair, which symbolises eroticism.

She has no wedding ring on and her swollen hands covering her stomach cover her pregnancy.

The visual effect of the overflowing and  unstable scenery behind her coupled with her unusual smile mesmerises the viewer.

Though finished, Leonardo will add to this painting for the remainder of his life in an almost obsessive manner.

Leonardo did not hand this work into his patron but instead he kept it in all his travels for the remaining 12 years of his life.

When looking at this picture, the eye is drawn to the subtle smile of the Mona Lisa, giving the impression that she knows some universal truth that is in plain sight but which we just cant understand.

All aspects of the painting transcend time as there are no elements that are subject to fashion in any time period (with the possible exemption of the gold braid on her forehead)

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline! ~

1508

(56 years old)

LEDA AND THE SWAN

(Painting - Oil on Poplar wood)

 

LEDA AND THE SWAN

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Leda and the swan

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 Leonardo's' original is lost.

A copy by Cesare Sesto in 1515 of the lost original by Leonardo

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Leda and the Swan sketch

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This is Leonardo's groundwork drawing for the painting from his notebooks.

 

 

In this copy of the lost painting by Leonardo, Leonardo amalgamates his skill of painting, his knowledge of anatomy (and knowledge of how babies are formed within the anatomy of a woman) and his dream of flight. The myth of Leda and her swan mate probably would have touched Leonardo's comical side.

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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MASTERPIECE

Virgin and child with St. Anne

(PAINTING)

 

VIRGIN AND CHILD WITH ST ANNE

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virgin-and-child-st-anne

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At the bottom of this painting, Leonardo paints in detail  a ground where we can see the geological layers which have formed over time and which reflect Leonardo's understanding of geology.

Leonardo is possibly communicating with the viewer that the biblical understanding of the creation is at odds with his scientific understanding of how old the earth really is for it to form layers of rocks. 

 

 

MOVES TO PAVIA

Leonardo leaves to collaborate with an anatomist by the name of Marcantonio Della Torre  from the University of Pavia in the dissecting of dead bodies

 

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anatomy

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Leonardo and Marcantonio had agreed to create and publish a medical journal that charts the human anatomy in depth.  Leonardo dissected and drew the anatomy while his colleague was the writer.

Pavia is around 35 miles away from Milan.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~
PAVIA, ITALY

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1510

(58 years old)

ANATOMY OF A PREGNANT MOTHER

 

 

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foetus-embryo

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Leonardo was first to make studies of the human embryo

 

 

1511

(59 years old)

MOVES BACK TO MILAN

Marcantonio Della Torre died from the black death. The work for the publication that the two were working for also died.

 

 

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Dragon

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Leonardo's drawings were later published in an anatomy journal many years after his death.

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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~ Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~
MILAN, ITALY

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1513

(61 years old)

RELOCATION

Moves to Rome as there is a demand for artists to create new masterpieces by order of the new pope Leo X 

 

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Rome

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Michelangelo is already in working in  Rome and heralded as divinely inspired by the churchmen. Leonardo however does not receive the same level of respect, which is most likely due to his reputation as a man who does not finish his commissions

 

      Back to Contents      
~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~
ROME, ITALY
  RELOCATED

Leonardo will stay three years in Rome where he will be eventually be accused of Witchcraft and Necromancy whilst working in and for the Vatican.

 

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Rome

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~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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STUDIO AND SPIES

Leonardo is given a studio in the Vatican  and assistants, which he requested.  The assistants he was provided with however secretly spy and report on Leonardo's comings and goings to the Vatican officials.

 

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Dragon

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Leonardo was only given small commissions.  This was most likely due to his growing reputation as not finishing many of his commissions.

Leonardo will again continues with his anatomical research in a local hospital which he is fully engrossed in.

Leonardo referred to the spies as German deceivers (as they were from Germany) who spread rumours about him.

His assistants could have spied on Leonardo at the request of the power bodies in the Vatican.

 The power bodies of the Vatican could have been mistrusted Leonardo due to his growing reputation as not finishing many of his commissions and a person who can break the rules of the church.

 

ANATOMY OF AN OLD MAN

Leonardo dissected a previously healthy 100-year-old dead man and confirms his suspicion of what killed him.

 

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Heart

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The above is an example of Leonardo's study of heart related biology.

 

Leonardo proves his hypothesis of blocked arteries

Leonardo had met the old man when he was still alive and was told by him that the he had never had any physical illnesses or discrepancies other than fatigue. Leonardo deduced that something to do with the heart must kill healthy older people.

 

Upon analysing the old mans vessels, Leonardo noticed that there was a thick inner lining that was blocking blood flow.  He realised that this blockage of the vessels causes a slow death for older people and why their exterior appearance shrivels due to a lack of blood flow. 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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ANATOMY OF A CHILD

Leonardo dissected a deceased young child of 2 years old  and determined another scientific reason why older people die even when in apparent good health.

 

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Dragon

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He discovers arterial sclerosis.

Upon checking this child's arteries, Leonardo found the vessels perfectly soft, straight and without blockage unlike the old man he had dissected previously. He determined that the hardening and thickening of the veins will lead to eventual death.

 

 

DISCOVERY THAT COULD HAVE SAVED MILLIONS

After dissecting an old man and comparing with the dissection of  a child, Leonardo's reasoning led him to the discovery of Cholesterol. 

 

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Heart

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The above is an example of Leonardo's study of the cardio vascular system.

Cholesterol

Leonardo reasoned that over time, something enters the blood stream to cause precipitation and hardens in the arteries.  He concluded that it is nutrition that would do this.

In terms of discoveries that could save lives, this is the most significant of Leonardo's discoveries that we know of. This discovery would have led to an understanding that directly would have led to the saving of millions of lives by the year 2007, if the discovery had been made public and taken seriously in Leonardo's time.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1514

(62 years old)

ST JOHN THE BAPTIST

(PAINTING)

 

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St John the Baptist

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Leonardo's closest friend 'Salai' was the sitter for this painting.

 

Leonardo painted John the Baptist as an androgynous figure.

 

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline! ~

 

ACCUSED OF WITCHCRAFT AND NECROMANCY

Leonardo was brought in front of the Vatican officials under the most serious of allegations when his assistant spies provided evidence of sacrilegious crimes.

Pages of bodies dissected including a child and a pregnant woman stolen by Leonardo's spies was the proof of the necromancy charge.  Leonardo's left-handed mirror writing was enough to convict him of Witchcraft.

 

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Leonardo was ordered to stop his biological anatomy studies or face dire consequences.

All of Leonardo's notebooks on anatomy (either handed over by Leonardo or seized by the Vatican) were analysed by the Vatican. 

The following is what Leonardo wrote with great pride of his achievements in anatomy for closure; The 120 chapters composed by me will give judgement in which I have been impeded neither by avarice nor by negligence but only by time. Farewell. '

Leonardo also wrote around the same time, 'Tell me, have I done anything of worth? Tell me if anything was ever done.'

 

It was Leonardo's obvious Genius and divine gift of painting that would have avoided him being put to death.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1515

(63 years old)

MECHANICAL LION

A gift of peace in the form of a Mechanical lion as a centrepiece of possibly a courtyard was to be crafted by Leonardo 

François I of France

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Robot-mechanical-lion

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This is NOT Leonardo's creation.

This picture gives you an idea of what Leonardo's creation may have looked like.

 

 

Gift was for Pope Leo X of Bologna, Italy

France re-invaded and took Milan in 1515

1516

(64 years old)

RELOCATION

Leonardo moves to France by invitation of King François I of France

 

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Amboise

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The king of France was importing great minds that could bring about the same successes of the Renaissance as were happening in Florence to France.

The king considered Leonardo to be the greatest of the ages' minds' even though Leonardo's Italian peers would have argued against this.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~
AMBOISE, FRANCE
Leonardo lives the last 3 years of his life in France in the company of the French King and his court

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PENSION

As a perk for staying with the king, Leonardo was offered a large manor house (Le Clos Lucé) beside the Royal residency.

 

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France-amboise-le-clos-luc

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Leonardo had a unique and revered status in France.

The King recognised Leonardo to have a unparalleled level of intellect and achievement and therefore apart from being given the manor house, Leonardo and his whole party received a handsome pension

The King did not expect any work from Leonardo but instead he treasured every moment he had with this aging Genius. 

Leonardo spent the last portion of his life in and around the court of France.

.

A tunnel connected the Kings mansion and Leonardo's new home.

The King would at night secretly meet Leonardo via the tunnel in order to speak this man he deemed as the wisest man of the age.

The King at this time was 22 years old and Leonardo had finally found a patron who truly appreciated his Genius.

 

Leonardo spent his time with his Hydrological studies

 

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Water-hydrology

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~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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ENCYCLOPAEDIA

Leonardo began to collate and compile all his life's colossal research into a Encyclopaedia.

 

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Dragon

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Leonardo's' Encyclopaedia was unfinished.

 

 

Leonardo's' Encyclopaedia was unfinished possibly due to health that would begin to deteriorate and other projects that came up which he deemed more pressing.

 

1517

(65 years old)

HEALTH

Leonardo had a stroke became paralysed on the right side of his body

 

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Dragon

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But his increasing infirmity didn’t seem 2 matter 2 the young French King, who treasured every moment he was able 2 spend with such a wise old man.

Despite Leonardo's deteriorating health, the King 

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1517

October, 10th

(65 years old)

VISITORS PAY RESPECTS TO LEONARDO

Cardinal Louis of Aragon (Spain) and his secretary de Beatis visit Leonardo.

 

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Mona Lisa! / La Gioconda

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Leonardo being a good host showed the visitors some of the projects he was working on.  One of the projects was the Mona Lisa, which the Cardinals' secretary noted in his diary as being 'absolute perfection'

 

1518

(66 years old)

FRIEND LEAVES

Salai, Leonardo's closest friend leaves his side

 

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St John the Baptist

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Leonardo's closest friend 'Salai' was the sitter for this painting.

 

 

Salai moves back to Milan

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1519

(67 years old)

Leonardo falls victim to an illness

 

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Dragon

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1519

April, 23rd

(67 years old)

 

Leonardo writes his last will

 

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Dragon

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Salai, Leonardo's' closest friend inherits most of Leonardo's' works and possessions.

 

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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1519, May 2nd

(67 years old)

DEATH

Leonardo dies in his bedroom.

 

DEATH OF LEONARDO

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Death-of-leonardo-da-vinci

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- This is not a Leonardo painting -

Even though this painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres in 1818 depicts King Francis I at Leonardo's deathbed, which was not true, it does convey well the sense of appreciation that the King had felt for Leonardo.

 

On his deathbed, Leonardo sent for a priest to make confession, which was the orthodox Christian way.

Leonardo's life paints a picture of someone deeply spiritual however ambiguous and a person who would not blindly follow religion, but follow it within reason.

Contrary to legend, there is evidence that King François I of France was not, and could not attend to Leonardo's deathbed as he was away in St. Germain en Laye on May 1st. There would not have been adequate time for him to reach Leonardo in 1w day.

Benvenuto Cellini who worked for King Francis I wrote by the request of the King, 'I have to record the words the king spoke to me, that he believed that there had never been a man born in the world who knew as much as Leonardo, not so much about painting, sculpture & architecture as that he was a very great philosopher.'

(Leonardo died over

488 years ago)

RESTING PLACE

Leonardo's' body resides in the Chapel of St.Hubert, Amboise

 

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Death-of-leonardo-da-vinci

Death-of-leonardo-da-vinci

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The Chapel is in the grounds of the French Kings Castle

This is Leonardo's 2nd resting place. He had been moved from the centre of the Kings castle, San Fiorentino.

Leonardo was relocated after damage occurred to the Castle and its local church.

~ The Leonardo Da Vinci Timeline ~

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