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Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 in the village of

Anchiano, close to the town of Vinci (present day Italy). His father was
Ser Piero, a notary lawyer and Leonardo's mother was Caterina, a peasant
girl. Born during the Renaissance, a time when it was possible to believe
that man can do anything, Leonardo proved the Renaissance correct.
Around 1466 he occupied himself to the leading Florentine painter and
sculptor, Andrea Del Verrocchio, as a studio boy. As a boy Leonardo had a
fundamental understanding on how machines worked which introduced him
to a great skill of reasoning. He was educated in mathematics which
surprisingly he was terrible at. He also taught himself anatomy. Leonardo
spent most nights secretly dissecting humans in his home, but he couldn't
continue and had to give up his pioneering work because the church
believed the bodies of the dead were sacred so they forbade dissection.
In addition to anatomy and mathematics Leonardo was an astounding
painter. He started painting as a teenager and gradually became more and
more skilled at it. He mastered the two hardest techniques of his
time, sfumato and chiaroscuro. Sfumato is the technique to transition
color, into a smoky or hazy effect. Chiaroscuro is the mastery of shadows
and shading. He makes use of these to techniques magnificently in his
most famous painting, the "Mona Lisa." Some of his other famous
paintings are, The Baptism of Christ, Annunciation, The Dreyfus Madonna,
St. Jerome in the Wilderness, and Adoration of the Magi.

Aside from his painting career, Leonardo's ingenious ideas for

inventions paved the way for actual inventions we use today. He drew
pictures of cranes, flying machines, and war machines directly from his
imagination. He drew pictures of the most lethal weapons of his time
hoping they would never be used. All of these inventions were hundreds of
years ahead of his time. Despite his superb ideas for "war machines,"
Leonardo was a very gentle man. He was a vegetarian his entire life. He
was known to buy chickens from the market only to set them free. He
hated to whiteness animals get hurt. Another interesting fact about
Leonardo Da Vinci is that he wrote all of his notes backwards. To read
them you would have to view their reflection in the mirror. Many of his
projects were left unfinished due to frustration.

Leonardo Da Vinci was the type of man who worked and explored for
the sole purpose of self-gratification. He took all of his work very
seriously and completely excluded himself from outside influences that
might try to persuade him into doing otherwise. Leonardo Da Vinci is the
most prominent figure in the Renaissance. His paintings were
extraordinary, his inventions were hundreds of years before his time, and
his gentle nature makes him one of the most brilliant people in history.