Time Tangled Island: Leonardo da Vinci

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Factropica Fast Facts and quizzes

by Beth Rowen
Mona Lisa

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Factropica Fast Facts

  • Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) lived and worked during the Renaissance period.
  • He was born near Vinci, a hill village in Tuscany, Italy.
  • The Renaissance period began in Italy in the 14th century and spread to the rest of Europe. The period, which ended in the 17th century, marked a transition from ancient to modern times and many advances in art, architecture, and scholarship.
  • Leonardo da Vinci was best known as an artist, but he also studied metallurgy, anatomy, mathematics, architecture, and botany, designed bridges, and worked on engineering projects.
  • Da Vinci worked on several concepts that were ahead of their time, including the glider, the helicopter—he called it the "aerial screw,"—a tank, and a calculator.
  • Da Vinci normally used tempera paint on wet plaster. For The Last Supper he used dry plaster, which produced more vivid colors but the plaster began to flake almost immediately. The painting has been in nearly constant repair for centuries.
  • At age 14, Leonardo became an apprentice to one of the most successful artists the time, Andrea di Cione, known as Verrocchio, of Florence.
  • At Verrocchio's workshop, da Vinci worked with Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Lorenzo di Credi.
  • Oil paint was introduced during Da Vinci's lifetime.
  • Da Vinci's paintings include Mona Lisa, Madonna of the Rocks, St. Anne, Mary, and the Child, Virgin of the Rocks, St. John the Baptist, and Adoration of the Magi.
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