Monday, August 16, 2010

Leo, The Renaissance Man

Leo was born, Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci on April 15, 1452. So it appears that he was an Aries, which is a fire sign. And his fire burned bright. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, inventor, scientist, botanist, mathematician, engineer, anatomist, geologist, map maker and writer.

He is the archetype of the Renaissance man.

He is considered to be one of the greatest painters and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. Leonardo was and is renowned primarily as a painter. Two of his works, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, are the most famous, most reproduced of all times. Leonardo's drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also considered a cultural icon being reproduced on everything from the euro to text books to t-shirts.Leonardo is known for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, the double hull, which is a ship hull design, and outlined a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics, which is a scientific theory which describes the large scale motions of Earth's lithosphere.. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime,but some of his smaller inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded. As a scientist, he greatly advanced the state of knowledge in the fields of anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics.
Historians write that he was a chronic procrastination. what's that about, I'm not getting that one.

Born the illegitimate son of a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence.
In 1466, At age 14, he was educated in the studio of the Florentine painter, Andrea di Cione, known as Verrocchio.
In 1472, At the age 20, Leonardo qualified as a master in the Guild of St Luke, the guild of artists and doctors of medicine.
In 1478 he received his first independent commission, to paint an altarpiece for the Chapel of St Bernard in the Palazzo Vecchio, Neither important commission was completed, the second being interrupted when Leonardo went to Milan.
Leonardo work in Milan between 1482 and 1499. He was commissioned to paint the Virgin of the Rocks for the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception, and The Last Supper for the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
From September 1513 to 1516, Leonardo spent much of his time living in the Belvedere in the Vatican in Rome, where Raphael and Michelangelo were both active at the time.
In 1516, he entered François' service, being given the use of the manor house Clos Lucé near the king's residence at the royal Chateau Amboise. It was here that he spent the last three years of his life, with his friend and apprentice, Count Francesco Melzi, supported by a pension.

Leonardo died at Clos Lucé, on May 2, 1519

There is so much that could be written about the great Leonardo Da Vinci and already has been written.

He was amazing and talented and energetic and gifted in an other worldly sense.

For the last month or so I have been eating, sleeping, reading, painting, studying Leonardo. When I started reading about him, I doubted that I could find a point of identification with such and ambitious genius. In self reflection I was able to reach toward him and identify. I am in awe of this man, yes man, a mere mortal. And we can all aspire to follow his example.

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