Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Leonardo Da Vinci   By: (1869-1958)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: Plate 1 MONA LISA. Frontispiece

In the Louvre. No. 1601. 2 ft 6 ½ ins. By 1 ft. 9 ins. (0.77 x 0.53)]



Illustrated With Eight Reproductions in Colour


"Leonardo," wrote an English critic as far back as 1721, "was a Man so happy in his genius, so consummate in his Profession, so accomplished in the Arts, so knowing in the Sciences, and withal, so much esteemed by the Age wherein he lived, his Works so highly applauded by the Ages which have succeeded, and his Name and Memory still preserved with so much Veneration by the present Age that, if anything could equal the Merit of the Man, it must be the Success he met with. Moreover, 'tis not in Painting alone, but in Philosophy, too, that Leonardo surpassed all his Brethren of the 'Pencil.'"

This admirable summary of the great Florentine painter's life's work still holds good to day.


His Birth His Early Training His Early Works First Visit to Milan In the East Back in Milan The Virgin of the Rocks The Last Supper The Court of Milan Leonardo Leaves Milan Mona Lisa Battle of Anghiari Again in Milan In Rome In France His Death His Art His Mind His Maxims His Spell His Descendants


Plate I. Mona Lisa In the Louvre II. Annunciation In the Uffizi Gallery, Florence III. Virgin of the Rocks In the National Gallery, London IV. The Last Supper In the Refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan V. Copy of the Last Supper In the Diploma Gallery, Burlington House VI. Head of Christ In the Brera Gallery, Milan VII. Portrait (presumed) of Lucrezia Crivelli In the Louvre VIII. Madonna, Infant Christ, and St Anne. In the Louvre


Leonardo Da Vinci, the many sided genius of the Italian Renaissance, was born, as his name implies, at the little town of Vinci, which is about six miles from Empoli and twenty miles west of Florence. Vinci is still very inaccessible, and the only means of conveyance is the cart of a general carrier and postman, who sets out on his journey from Empoli at sunrise and sunset. Outside a house in the middle of the main street of Vinci to day a modern and white washed bust of the great artist is pointed to with much pride by the inhabitants. Leonardo's traditional birthplace on the outskirts of the town still exists, and serves now as the headquarters of a farmer and small wine exporter.

Leonardo di Ser Piero d'Antonio di Ser Piero di Ser Guido da Vinci for that was his full legal name was the natural and first born son of Ser Piero, a country notary, who, like his father, grandfather, and great grandfather, followed that honourable vocation with distinction and success, and who subsequently when Leonardo was a youth was appointed notary to the Signoria of Florence. Leonardo's mother was one Caterina, who afterwards married Accabriga di Piero del Vaccha of Vinci.

[Illustration: Plate II. Annunciation

In the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. No. 1288. 3 ft 3 ins. By 6 ft 11 ins. (0.99 x 2.18)

Although this panel is included in the Uffizi Catalogue as being by Leonardo, it is in all probability by his master, Verrocchio.]

The date of Leonardo's birth is not known with any certainty. His age is given as five in a taxation return made in 1457 by his grandfather Antonio, in whose house he was educated; it is therefore concluded that he was born in 1452. Leonardo's father Ser Piero, who afterwards married four times, had eleven children by his third and fourth wives. Is it unreasonable to suggest that Leonardo may have had these numbers in mind in 1496 1498 when he was painting in his famous "Last Supper" the figures of eleven Apostles and one outcast?

However, Ser Piero seems to have legitimised his "love child" who very early showed promise of extraordinary talent and untiring energy.


Practically nothing is known about Leonardo's boyhood, but Vasari informs us that Ser Piero, impressed with the remarkable character of his son's genius, took some of his drawings to Andrea del Verrocchio, an intimate friend, and begged him earnestly to express an opinion on them... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books