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Today we're going to learn about the famous artist, Leonardo da Vinci.
Born in 1452, Leonardo da Vinci is most famous as a painter, but he was also a scientist,
mathematician, engineer, inventor, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician, and writer.
He is one of the most famous artists in history, and some people think he is one of the most
talented people ever to have lived.
Leonardo was born in Vinci, a small town in Italy. That is where he got his name - 'da
Vinci' means 'of Vinci,' so he was known as 'Leonardo from Vinci,' because he did not
have a last name.
Leonardo started painting while he was a child, and when he was fourteen he was sent to the
city of Florence and apprenticed to an artist named Verrocchio. In the workshop, Verrocchio
and his apprentices would often work on pieces together. That is why Leonardo only painted
part of the earliest paintings we have of his.
By the time he was twenty, Leonardo da Vinci was good enough that his father set him up
in his own workshop, and that is when he began creating artwork of his own.
Despite training as an artist, it seems that Leonardo did not think of himself as a painter.
When he moved to Milan at the age of thirty, he wrote a letter to the Duke there talking
about the wonderful and different things he could do in engineering, and, he said, he
could 'also paint.'
During the Renaissance, when da Vinci lived, art and science were not seen as separate
studies, but more like two sides of the same coin. It's true that Leonardo spent a great
deal of time in a close and careful study of the world
around him, and he was full of ideas for inventions that would not be used for hundreds of years.
He spent a long time studying the human body, he imagined ways that people could walk on
water and designed armored tanks; he invented an early parachute and a version of the helicopter,
a self-propelled cart and scuba diving gear. Some of his inventions were put to use, some
were forgotten, and others never really worked.
One thing Leonardo wanted all his life was to find a way for a person to fly.
"You may see that the beating of its wings against the air supports a heavy eagle," he
said. "Again you may see the air in motion over the sea, fill the swelling sails and
drive heavily laden ships. From these instances, and the reasons given, a man with wings large
enough and duly connected might learn to overcome the resistance of the air, and by conquering
it, succeed in subjugating it and rising above it."
He studied birds and tried countless ways, but as far as we know, Leonardo da Vinci never
achieved flight.
While his contributions to science, for the most part, went unrecognized for many years,
Leonardo's genius for painting was obvious to everyone who saw it. Two of his paintings,
the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa, are considered the most famous paintings in the world.
Unlike many other artists, Leonardo da Vinci was incredibly famous and successful during
his lifetime. After he died, people were still interested in him and his art. For more than
500 years, people have studied and enjoyed his work.
In 1568, Giorgio Vasari wrote this about da Vinci.
"In the normal course of events many men and women are born with remarkable talents; but
occasionally, in a way that transcends nature, a single person is marvellously endowed by
Heaven with beauty, grace and talent in such abundance that he leaves other men far behind,
all his actions seem inspired and indeed everything he does clearly comes from God rather than
from human skill. Everyone acknowledged that this was true of Leonardo da Vinci."
I hope you enjoyed learning about Leonardo da Vinci, and seeing some of his wonderful
work. Goodbye!
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Leonardo da Vinci for Children: Biography for Kids - FreeSchool

75 Folder Collection
hexiecollege published on June 7, 2019
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