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Краткая биография Леонардо да Винчи на английском языке

 Leonardo's life

The famous figure of Leonardo da Vinci and the main episodes of his biography, narrated by Carlo Peretti, well known Leonardo's life and works scholar.

On April 15, 1452 Leonardo was born in Vinci, a little village lying in the shelter of a Medieval castle on the slopes of Montalbano. [..]
Vinci is halfway between Florence and Pisa. Leonardo was born, then, in a little village apparently far removed from the world but in reality lying at the crossroads of great highways of communication.
At the age of sixteen or seventeen he moved to Florence, where his father, notary by profession, apprenticed him to work in Verrocchio's workshop. The road he covered, on foot or on horseback - forty miles or so - is the one that still today runs along the Arno.

This same road had very probably already taken him to Pisa, attracted by a strange landscape where the rocky outcrops in the surrounding mountains often take on the primordial features appearing in the background of the Louvre Virgin of the Rocks, the first Milanese painting commissioned of him in 1483 when he was thirty-one. [..]
In Florence Leonardo spent twelve years of systematic study and intense experimentation, soon entering under the protection of Lorenzo de' Medici, almost his own age (1449-1492), a refined humanist, crafty merchant, wise statesman and skillful politician, but above all an incomparably able diplomat: in short, a master of communication. For the young Leonardo, Lorenzo was an intriguing example of the technique of communication, where the persuasive power of words was based on eloquence and psychology. Inspired by this example Leonardo began to refine his own visual language, adopting a kind of "speaking" painting which, with the Adoration of the Magi painted in 1481 at the age of twenty-nine, arrived at the intensely animated gestures and iconic impact of a silent film. [..] (follows)

1452 - Leonardo is born at Vinci on April 15, the natural son of the Notary Ser Piero di Antonio da Vinci.

1469 - Leonardo presumably enters Verrocchio’s workshop in this year.

1472 - He is enrolled in the painters’ association, the Compagnia di San Luca. His first works start from this date: costumes and sets for festivals and jousts, a cartoon for a tapestry (lost) and the paintings of uncertain dating.

1473 - He dates (August 5) the drawing of the Landscape of the Val d’Arno (Florence, Uffizi).

1476 - Accused of sodomy along with other persons, he is acquitted.

1478 - Leonardo is commissioned to paint the altarpiece for the Chapel of San Bernardo in Palazzo della Signoria. In this same year he states that he has completed two paintings of the Virgin, one of which is now identified as the Benois Madonna.

1480 - According to the Anonimo Gaddiano, Leonardo works for Lorenzo de’ Medici.

1481 - Contract for the Adoration of the Magi.

1482 - Leonardo moves to Milan leaving unfinished the Adoration, which he has just begun.

1483 - In Milan he stipulates the contract for the Virgin of the Rocks with Evangelista and Ambrogio de Predis.

1487 - Payment for projects for the lantern on the Milan Cathedral.

1489 - Leonardo designs sets for the festivities celebrating the wedding of Gian Galeazzo Sforza and Isabella d’Aragon. In this same year he begins preparations for the colossal equestrian sta¬ tue in honor of Francesco Sforza.

1491 - Giovanni Giacomo Caprotti da Ore¬no, known as “Salaì”, ten years old at the time, enters Leonardo’s service. The nickname “Salaì”, which means “devil”, derives from the boy’s unruly character.

1492 - For the wedding of Ludovico il Moro and Beatrice d’Este, Leonardo designs the costumes for the procession of Scythians and Tartars.

1494 - Land reclamation work on one of the Duke’s estates near Vigevano.

1495 - Leonardo begins the Last Supper and the decoration of rooms in the Castello Sforzesco. The artist’s name is mentioned as Ducal Engineer.

1497 - The Duke of Milan urges the artist to finish the Last Supper, which is probably completed by the end of the year.

1498 - Leonardo completes the decoration of the Sala delle Asse in the Castello Sforzesco.

1499 - Leonardo leaves Milan with Luca Pacioli. He stops at Vaprio to the Melzi fami¬ly, then leaves for Venice passing through Mantua, where he draws two portraits of Isabella d’Este.

1500 - In March he arrives in Venice. Returns to Florence where he resides at the Monastery of the Servite Brothers in Santissima Annunziata.

1502 - Leonardo enters the service of Cesare Borgia as architect and general engineer, following Borgia in his military campaigns through Romagna.

1503 - Leonardo returns to Florence where, according to Vasari, he paints the Mona Lisa. Devises projects for devia¬ting the Arno River during the siege of Pisa. Commissioned by the Signoria to paint the Battle of Anghiari.

1504 - Continues to work on the Battle of Anghiari. Is called upon to participate in the commission that will decide where to place Michelangelo’s David. First studies for a Leda.

1506 - Leonardo leaves Florence for Milan, promising to return within three months. The stay in Milan extends beyond this time.

1508 - Leonardo is in Florence, then returns to Milan.

1509 - Geological studies on the valleys of Lombardy.

1510 - Studies on anatomy with Marcantonio della Torre at the University of Pavia.

1513 - Leonardo leaves Milan for Rome, where he lives in the Vatican Belvedere, under the protection of Giuliano de’ Medici. Remains in the city for three years, engaged in mathematical and scientific studies.

1514 - Projects for draining the Pontine swamps and for the port of Civitavecchia.

1517 - Leonardo moves to Amboise, to the court of François I King of France. In mid-January he visits Romorantin with the King to plan a new royal palace and a system of canals for the region of Sologne.

1518 - Leonardo participates in the festivi¬ties for the baptism of the Dauphin and for the wedding of Lorenzo de’ Medici to the King’s niece.

1519 - On April 23 Leonardo writes his will. The executor is his friend the painter Francesco Melzi. He dies on May 2. In the burial certificate, dated August 12, he is described as a «noble Milanese, first painter and engineer and architect to the King, State Mechanic».

All of Leonardo's work as painter and theoretician of painting is imbued with the concept that art should be considered a form of creative knowledge, on the same level as science and philosophy. And still today the lesson taught by Leonardo has the immediate impact of a live broadcast, whether it involves traditional media - still unsurpassed in historical research - or the new electronic technologies, now beginning to show their true worth as indispensable aid to historical research, having developed beyond the initial stage of games used in play.

On the other hand, Leonardo played too, as noted by Sigmund Freud already in 1910: «The great Leonardo, it seems, remained infantile in some aspects his whole life long. He continued to play even as an adult and for this reason too he was at times incomprehensible and disturbing to the eyes of his contemporaries».


And as such - disturbing and incomprehensible - he appears even today, five centuries later, since he has been more studied than understood. The genius has been rediscovered, but the man has been lost.
During a visit to Pavia in January 1490 accompanied by the Sienese architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini for a consultation on work then being done on the cathedral, Leonardo, then thirty-eight, was attracted by the ingenious arrangement of the rooms in a famous bordello in that city, and drew the floor-plan as a model "lupanare".
The drawing appears on a page in a manuscript from that time. [...]

On the same folio, at the same time, Leonardo notes: «catena aurea», which is the title of the grandiose Thomist compendium on the Gospels. These are small but sure indicators of how the real Leonardo, viewed in close-up, could finally re-emerge in the new millennium. After dying the first time in France on May 2, 1519, he has died many times over in the writings of posterity - those very writings that proclaimed his immortality.

Carlo Pedretti

Картины Леонардо да Винчи

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