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LEONARDO DA VINCI
Biography

 
April 1452

Leonardo was born in Anchiano, near Vinci. He was the illegitimate child of Ser Piero and Caterina.

around 1465 - 75

Serves his apprenticeship with Andrea Del Vecchio in Florence. Works together with him on some of his paintings (e.g. Tobiolo e l'Angelo, London, National Gallery; Battesimo di Cristo, Florence, Uffizi)

1474 - 76

Paints the Portrait of Ginevra de' Benci (Washington, National Gallery of Art)

1478

He is asked to paint an altarpiece for San Bernardo Chapel inside the Palazzo Vecchio. He starts painting "Due Vergini Marie", one of which could be identified with Madonna Benois, now kept at St Petersburg Hermitage.

1480 - 82

Paints Adorazione dei Magi, which is kept in the Uffizi Gallery, and San Gerolamo, which is kept inside the Pinacoteca Vaticana

End of 1482

He moves to Milan. Tradition (Anonimo Gaddiano, Vasari) says that Lorenzo il Magnifico sent him there as lyre player for Ludovico il Moro

April 25 1483

He sets a contract with the Confraternita dell'Immacolata Concezione for the painting of "Una Nostra Donna" inside the Church of San Francesco Grande in Milan

around 1483

He writes a letter to Ludovico il Moro offering his services as an architect, engineer, soldier, sculptor and painter

around 1486

He paints the first version of "Nostra Donna", which he was asked to paint in 1483, (Vergine delle Rocce, now in Paris, Louvre).

around 1485- 87

He paints Ritratto di Musico (Milan, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana)

around 1489 -90

He paints the portrait of Cecilia Gallerani, the Lady with an Ermine (Cracow)

1494- 98

He paints The Last Supper inside Santa Maria delle Grazie refectory, Milan

1499

He goes away from Milan at the end of the year, after the fall of Ludovico il Moro. He takes refuge in Mantua, at Isabella d'Este's. He paints her portrait (the cartoon is kept at the Louvre)

1500 March

He is in Venice, where he works on a plan to defend the Friuli against the Turkish

1501 March

He is in Rome and in Tivoli, where he can study the antiquities before going to Naples, where he would meet the Count of Ligny

1502 - 03 summer

He serves Duke Valentino, the son of Alessandro IV. He visits the cities of his dominion (Urbino, Pesaro, Cesena, Cesenatico and Piombino).

1504

The republic of Florence entrusts him with the execution of a large painting on the walls of the Palazzo Vecchio. He competes with Michelangelo, who is entrusted with the painting of the Anghieri Battle (a defeat). He starts painting the portrait of Monna Lisa del Giocondo (The Monnalisa, Louvre)

1505

Back to Piombino, he works on the project to defend Jacopo Appiani

1506 - 07

He is asked to go back to Milan, to serve the King of France

1508

He ends the second version of the Vergine delle Rocce (London, National Gallery)

1508 - 13

He serves the French in Milan. He studies hydraulics and anatomy. He designs a villa for Charles d'Amboise. In these years he paints the Sant'Anna, which is now kept at the Louvre

1513 - 15

Giuliano de' Medici gives him hospitality in Rome

1515

He goes to Bologna, where he meets the King of France Francesco I

1517 -19

He goes to the Castle of Cloux, near Amboise, where the King of France wanted him to be "premier peintre, architecte du Roi, mescanischien d'Estat".

May 2 1519

He died in Amboise. His heirs Francesco Melzi and Gian Giacomo Capriotti, called Salai, take his manuscripts and his paintings back to Italy

Press release
Highlights of the exhibition
Who was Cecilia Gallerani
Formal meanings and iconography
Preservations and scientific examinations
Dress and coiffure
The story of the painting in the Czartoryski collection
The Lady with an Ermine and portraits in the period between the XV century and XVI century in Milan
Brochure

 


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