Léonard De Vinci
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Painter, sculptor, architect and Italian engineer, Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452, in the vicinity of Florence.
In 1472 he joined the confraternity of Saint Luc where he learned the diverse techniques of the artists of the period.
Very quickly, his original style moved away from the traditional Tuscan iconographic and stylistic ideas. His characters are not defined by the incisive models of the Florentine artists of the XV century, but seem to rise to the surface from a half-light, enveloped by a chiaroscuro that cancels all isolation of forms.
During the summer 1482, Leonardo da Vinci arrived in Milan where he entered the service of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan.
In this city he directed hydraulic and drainage works, he elaborated architectural and urban planning, but also decors and complicated mechanisms for fetes.
At the same time he created frescos, amongst which was The Last Supper (Convent of Sainte Marie des Graces). Thanks to numerous experimentations in the various fields of art (painting, sculpture, architecture) and science (botany, mechanics, geometry), he was greatly admired in the cultural life of the city.
In 1499, he left Milan, staying in Vaprio, Mantua, and Venice, he became a military engineer in Umbria and settled, finally, in Florence in 1503. It was at this time that he painted The Mona Lisa
Milan, Rome, then France where he became the "first painter, architect and mechanic" of François Ier of France and where he passed the last stages of his life. His studies of physics, botany, anatomy and geophysics, were a great part of his life and work.