Leonardo Da Vinci is best known for his renaissance works of art. When he died in 1519 he left behind about 6000 journal pages that he filled with writings about his life. In these pages he included how he found inspiration, his need for fame and his heartaches and disappointments.
Da Vinci was born in 1452 and although his early life is a bit of a mystery most of the accounts say his father, Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, was a notary and a landlord. Some accounts say that his mother, Caterina, was a peasant while others say she was a slave of Messer Peiro.
His parents did not marry and Da Vinci lived with his mother until the age of five and when his father married someone else he went to live with them. Even though he had a relationship with his mother they were not close, and only exchanged letters. In his writings Da Vinci alludes to a close relationship with his father.
Da Vinci did not go to school, but was tutored at home in subjects like reading, writing and mathematics. Because he grew up in the countryside of Tuscany much of childhood was spent outdoors and he was fascinated by the natural world.
In his writings Da Vinci speaks of his delight in researching the properties of water and his fascination in how birds of prey moved. When he was a teenager Da Vinci went to Florence as an apprentice to a prominent painter, Andrea del Verrocchio. It was not long before Da Vinci’s talent emerged. His master was in awe of his art and praised Da Vinci for his incredible talent.
Da Vinci is known for taking his time when painting, and many of his paintings were not completed. The Louvre houses one of the most famous paintings in the world, the Mona Lisa, as well as The Virgin and Child and as an unfinished artwork that depicts the Virgin Mary. In a Vatican Museum, Da Vinci’s St Jerome in the Wilderness is displayed, another incomplete painting.
If he was around in the time of Australian sports betting one can almost imagine that he’d never actually get around to backing the horse he thought would win, and it would go on to be a winner anyway!
The Adoration of the Magi is an important work and it has been thought that this painting depicts a young Da Vinci. This incomplete painting has been in the Uffuzi Gallery since 1670.
Not only did Da Vinci have incomplete paintings, but also many inventions that were never completed. There is no evidence that he was able to complete any of his inventions and his writings were also never published.
Da Vinci also had a brush with the law when he was 24. He was arrested together with some other men and charged with sodomy. There were no witnesses and so they were all released.
His writings do express his deep sadness at the allegations made against him, as he was a very private man.
It was a bad experience for him as during this time sodomy was a crime that could lead to the death penalty if found guilty. Shortly after the incident Da Vinci moved to Milan.