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Leonardo da Vinci
April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519

Complete Name : Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci

Occupation: Italian polymath, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician, writer, and political personality

Remembered as : the Eternal Renaissance Man

Art Movement: High Renaissance

Best Known Works: Mona Lisa (painting),
The Last Supper (painting), The Vitruvian Man (sketch)

Field of study: Too many and diverse to enumerate (in the arts and sciences)

Status: never married

Children: none

Leonardo da Vinci, a self-portrait at age 67
Leonardo da Vinci, a self-portrait

Leonardo da Vinci has often been described as the archetype of the renaissance man, one whose unquenchable curiosity was equaled only by his powers of invention. Italian polymath, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. In modern day parlance, one would say that he is the archetypal model for geeks around the world.

Factoids and Trivia
(about Leonardo da Vinci)
..Leonardo da Vinci was a vegetarian, a natural consequence of his empathy for animals -- he found it horrible that animals need suffer in order to provide sustenance to man
..Leonardo da Vinci kept his notes written in mirror-image. At once, it was suspected that he used this method to protect his works. But it was a curious case of him being left-handed and writing in mirror-image was simply easier for him
..in 1476, 24-year-old Leonardo da Vinci and 3 other young men were charged with sodomy and were acquitted
..Leonardo da Vinci formed no close relationships with women with the exception of Isabella d'Este for whom he drew a portrait. Since the 16th century, Leonardo's sexuality has often been the subject of study, analysis and speculation, most notably by Sigmund Freud, an Austrian psychiatrist whose influence in the field of psychology is second to none
..Leonardo da Vinci was believed to be a great procrastinator. A famous example here applies: the huge equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza that was started but remained unfinished for several years. Seventy tons of bronze were set aside for casting it, and while Leonardo succeeded in completing the clay model in 1492, the bronze statue never materialized. Eventually, the bronze material was used to make cannons to defend the city from invasion by Charles VIII of France. In 1499, the invading French troops used the clay model of the statue for target practice.
..Leonardo da Vinci was described to be possessed of "outstanding physical beauty" by Giorgio Vasari, the 16th-century Italian painter, writer and architect who is today most famous for his biographies of Italian artists
..Vasari further described Leonardo as a most talented musician, in appearance striking and handsome, and possessed of a magnificent presence that brings comfort to the most troubled soul, had great strength and generosity and regal spirit and trememdous breadth of mind

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..Vasari further claimed that Leonardo had great powers of persuasion, and had great physical strength: "with his right hand, he could bend the ring of an iron door knocker or a horseshoe as if they were lead"
..Leonardo da Vinci had the 'odd' habit of buying caged birds and setting them free
..Leonardo da Vinci had two favorite pupils in his lifetime, to whom he bequeathed his most prominent works upon his death. The Mona Lisa, he left to Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno, nicknamed Salai. Meanwhile, the remainder of Leona
..Leonardo da Vinci served as the model for two works by the artist Verrocchio: the bronze statue of David now residing in the National Museum of the Bargello; and, the Archangel Michael in "Tobias and the Angel", a painting
..Leonardo da Vinci made excellent conversation and had a charming disposition, as evidenced by the nobility of his social network. In his lifetime, his patrons were the leaders of Florence and Milan, the son of Pope Alexander VI, and King Francis I of France, with whom he shared a close friendship. He was intimate friends with renowned artist Verrocchio who was also his teacher, and had working relations with notable mathematician Luca Pacioli, who is also widely held as the father of accounting, for he wrote the first treatise on double-entry accounting, the method still generally used today. He was also close friends with Niccolo Machiavelli. And if one's worth can be judged by the quality of his adversaries, then it must be noted that Leonardo and Michelangelo enjoyed a certain artistic rivalvy. Generally, Leonardo charmed all those with whom he shared his life, and was well-loved and highly regarded by his contemporaries
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