Leonardo da Vinci, a painter, sculptor, musician, architect, writer, botanist, inventor, engineer, and anatomist, was born on April 15, 1452 in Vinci, Italy. His parents,Messer PieroFruosino di Antonio da Vinci, a legal notary, and Caterina, a peasant, named him “Leonardo di serPiero da Vinci,” meaning “Leonardo, (son) of (Mes)serPiero from Vinci.”At 14, Leonardo began to learn all kinds of art from Andrea del Verrocchio. For about six years as his student, Leonardo learned drawing, sculpting, leather arts, carpentry, and metal working. By the age of 20, he set up his own workshop. Besides learning about art, Leonardo also received informal education in Latin, geometry, and mathematics. His amazing works earned him the name A Renaissance Man. He died in Amboise, France, on May 2, 1519.

Some of His Works

Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa is most probably the most famous artwork of Leonardo. Mona Lisa, also known as La Gioconda, the wife of Francesco delGiocondo, is an oil painting on wood. It’s now a French national treasure and hangs in the Louvre, Paris.

The Last Supper

This Last Supper is a mural that was done from 1495-1498 on the dining hall’s back wall of the Dominican convent of Sta Maria delle Grazie in Italy. This painting is Leonardo’s interpretation of an event in the Christian Bible’s New Testament.

Flying Machines

Flying machines shows designs of a helicopter and a glider. The glider is similar to the one made by the Wright Brothers about 400 years after Leonardo’s death in 1519.

The Vitruvian Man

The drawing of a male figure with his arms and legs apart was created by Leonardo around 1487. The drawing has notes by Vitruvius Pollio, an architect. The drawing and text, which are also called the Canon of Proportions or Proportions of Man, is stored in the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, Italy.

Exercise 1

Directions: Read the article and answer the questions.

  1. When was Leonardo da Vinci born?
  2. Who did da Vinci learn all kinds of art from?
  3. Where is Mona Lisa hung now?
  4. When was the Last Supper done?
  5. What kind of flying machines did da Vinci design?

Exercise 2

Directions: Read the article. Check (P) True, False or Not Clear.

  1. Leonardo da Vinci learned drawing, sculpting, leather arts,  carpentry, and metal working for about five years.   
  2. His amazing works earned him the name A Renaissance Man.   
  3. Mona Lisa is an oil painting on wood.   
  4. Da Vinci inspired the Wright Brothers.   
  5. The Vitruvian Man’s drawing was inspired by Vitruvius Pollio.   
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