Biographie de Leonard de Vinci
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1452 :

Leonardo is born in Vinci. He is the illegitimate son of the notary Piero di Antonio da Vinci and Caterina, who goes on to marry Antonio, known as Accattabriga di Piero Buti del Vacca.

1464 :

He moves to Florence and goes to work in the workshop of Andrea di Francesco di Cione, known as Verrocchio (1435-1488), in Via dell’Agnolo (until 1476).

1472 :

He is recorded as a painter in the register of the Company of Saint Luke in Florence.

1473 :

His first dated drawing, Arno Valley landscape (Florence, Uffizi, Drawings and Prints Room).

1475 :

Leonardo collaborates with Verrocchio on the Baptism of Christ (Florence, Uffizi Gallery), commissioned by the monastery at San Salvi on the outskirts of Florence, and paints the Annunciation (Florence, Uffizi Gallery) and Ginevra de’ Benci (Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art).
There is documentary evidence that from 1475 to 1482 he joined the Garden of San Marco – as a sculptor from 1480 to 1482 – under the patronage of Lorenzo the Magnificent.

1478 :

Leonardo is commissioned to paint the retable in San Bernardo's Chapel (Palazzo Vecchio, Florence), the decoration of which had previously been commissioned from Piero Benci, known as il Pollaiolo (1443-1496).

The work – which he fails to finish and which was previously attributed to Domenico Bigordi, known as il Ghirlandaio (1449-1494), and then to Filippino Lippi (1457-1504) – is an indication of the independence he has acquired from Verrocchio and the considerable reputation he has gained by this time. Leonardo paints the Benois Madonna (1478-1482) (Saint Petersburg, Hermitage Museum) and theMadonna of the Carnation (Munich, Alte Pinakothek).

1481 :

The monks at the San Donato monastery in Scopeto commission him to paint the Adoration of the Magi (Florence, Uffizi Gallery), a work that he will never complete or deliver.

1482 :

He moves to Milan, to the court of Ludovico Sforza, known as il Moro, probably at the invitation of Lorenzo the Magnificent. In a letter, of which only one copy remains, (Milan, Ambrosian Library, Codex Atlanticus), Leonardo describes the full extent of his genius in military engineering, architecture, sculpture and painting.

1483 :

He paints Saint Jerome (Rome, Pinacoteca Vaticana), the client and destination of which remain unknown. Together with the brothers Evangelista (who died in 1491) and Giovanni Ambrogio de Predis (1455 – post 1508), he signs the contract for the retable for the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception in San Francesco Grande. Two versions were completed of the central painting, known today as Virgin of the Rocks: The first (Paris, Louvre) – painted between 1483 and 1486 – was never delivered to the brotherhood. The second (London, National Gallery) – painted between 1491-1494 and 1503 – probably also included contributions by Marco d’Oggiono (1470-1525) and Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (1466/67-1516).

1487 :

He takes part in the competition to design the tiburium for Milan Cathedral (1487-1490). Leonardo presents a wooden model built by Bernardino Maggi de Abbiate. The discussions about the gothic cathedral involve Donato Bramante, Pietro da Gorgonzola, Fra Giovanni Mair d’Hustorf, Francesco di Giorgio, Simone da Sturi, Giovanni di Battagi, Giovanni Antonio Amadeo and Gian Giacomo Dolcebuono. The latter win the day (1490).

1488 :

First studies for an equestrian statue in honour of Francesco Sforza. Leonardo paints Lady with an Ermine (1488-1489) (Cracow, Czartoryski Museum). Together with his previous portrait Musician (painted in around 1485) and La Belle Ferronnière (painted in around 1495) (Paris, Louvre), it completely transforms the Milanese portrait painting tradition. The following year he undertakes his first anatomical studies.

1490 :

Leonardo conceives and designs the temporary decorations for the Festa del Paradiso, performed to celebrate the wedding of Giangaleazzo Sforza and Isabella of Aragon at Sforza Castle. In collaboration with Amadeo, Leonardo helps to design Pavia Cathedral. Gian Giacomo Caprotti de Oreno, known as Salaì (1480-1524) joins Marco d’Oggiono as a student in Leonardo's workshop.

1491 :

Leonardo takes part in organising the jousting in honour of the marriage of Ludovico Sforza, known as il Moro, to Beatrice d’Este and of Anna Sforza to Alfonso d’Este. Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio joins Leonardo's workshop.

1492 :

While the construction of the tribune of Santa Maria delle Grazie begins, Donato Bramante (1444-1514) and Leonardo work on the construction of the Piazza Ducale in Vigevano (until 1496).
In addition, on a number of occasions Leonardo travels to Lombardy, to Lake Como, Valteline and Valsassine. According to Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574), Giuliano Giamberti, known as Giuliano da Sangallo (1445-1516), arrives in Milan and gives Leonardo the benefit of his advice regarding the construction of the Sforza monument.

1493 :

The clay model of the Sforza statue is exhibited in Milan Cathedral on the occasion of the marriage of Bianca Maria Sforza, Ludovico's niece, and Maximilian I of Habsburg.

1494 :

Leonardo is commissioned to paint The Last Supper (1494-1498) for the refectory at the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. It represents the acme of his studies in optics, geometry, engineering and anatomy completed during his time in Milan and which became an integral part of his artistic process. Following a short stay in Vigevano he makes a few measurements for the Sforza Villa planned for il Moro.

1495 :

Leonardo designs the decorations for some of the rooms at Sforza Castle. According to Giorgio Vasari, that same year he travels briefly to Florence for an interview for the construction of the Grand Council Chamber (1495-1497) in the Palazzo della Signoria.

1497 :

While still occupied painting The Last Supper, Leonardo works on the clay model of the Sforza equestrian statue, to be the centrepiece in the Corte Vecchia of the Ducal Palace.

1498 :

He decorates the saletta negra andsala delle Asse in Sforza Castle. Ludovico il Moro gives Leonardo a vineyard near the gates of Vercellina, between the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie and the monastery of San Vittore al Corpo.

1499 :

The French troops of Louis XII enter Milan, causing il Moro to flee. At the end of 1499, Leonardo leaves the city in the company of the mathematician Luca Pacioli (1445-1517). On the way to Florence Leonardo stops off in Mantua, where he stays with Isabella d’Este, completing a charcoal portrait of her (Paris, Louvre).

1500 :

Leonardo goes to Venice. He is thought to have met Giorgione (1477-1510) and draws up a plan for a defensive system for Friuli against the advancing Turks. In Bologna, accompanied by Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, he is a guest of the poet Gerolamo Casio (date***). In Florence, he is consulted regarding the restoration of the Church of San Salvatore dell’Osservanza. He also begins work on the theme of Leda (a painting that was lost and is known thanks to signed sketches and copies by various contemporaries).

1501 :

Leonardo stays briefly in Rome and Tivoli. Back in Florence, Leonardo works on a cartoon for the painting Saint Anne and paints the Madonna of the Yarnwinder, which is today lost and known only thanks to copies, for Florimond Robertet (1459-1527), secretary of the King of France.

1502 :

Again in Florence, Leonardo is called upon by Isabella d’Este to value various vases that belonged to Lorenzo the Magnificent. With Cesare Borgia, known as il Valentino (1475-1507) – in his capacity as "architect and general artificer" – he travels to the Marche and Romagna and works on a design for the fortifications and defence of the region.

1503 :

Leonardo is commissioned by the Republic of Florence to paint The Battle of Anghiari in the Grand Council Chamber in the Palazzo della Signoria, where he comes into direct competition with Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564). Together with the Battle of Cascina painted by his rival, Leonardo's fresco, which is never finished, became an outstanding source of inspiration and a model for the next generation of artists. Leonardo is paid a fee for the diversion of the River Arno near Pisa. He starts to paint Mona Lisa (1503-1506 and 1510-1516) (Paris, Louvre).

1504 :

Leonardo paints a Salvator Mundi, known thanks to copies. He sets up his workshop in Santa Maria Novella. The Vestry Council of Santa Maria del Fiore asks Leonardo to join the college of artists formed to decide where Michelangelo's David is to be placed.

1505 :

Lorenzo, known as "il Fanfoia", Raffaello d’Antonio di Biagio, Ferrando Spagnolo and Tomaso di Giovanni join Leonardo's workshop as assistants.

1506 :

The governor of Milan, Charles of Amboise (1473-1511) – appointed Marshal of France in 1504 – requests the presence of Leonardo in the Lombard capital; the following year the request is repeated by the sovereign in person. Except for a brief stay in Florence (1508), Leonardo remains in Milan until 1513. His work includes various studies in town planning, geological and hydrographic problems and surveys of the courses of the rivers Oglio and Adda and of Lake Iseo.

1508 :

A brief stay in Florence, where he works with il Rustici on the sculpture of Saint John the Baptist of the Baptistry and the dissection of the corpse of a man at Santa Maria Nuova Hospital. This is also thought to be the date when he starts work on the monument in honour of Gian Giacomo Trivulzio for the Church of San Nazaro.

1509 :

Leonardo undertakes studies of the hydraulics and geology of the valleys of Lombardy. On the Divine Proportion by Luca Pacioli is published, featuring solid geometrical shapes taken from Leonardo's drawings.

1510 :

Leonardo's opinion is sought in discussions on the design of the stalls in Milan Cathedral. He again takes up his work in anatomy, with Marcantonio Torre at the University of Pavia. He paints theVirgin and child with Saint Anne (1510-1513) (Paris, Louvre).

1513 :

The Sforza government is restored in Milan (1512). Leonardo leaves for Rome and the service of Cardinal Giuliano de’ Medici, brother of Pope Leo X (1513-1521). At the Holy See he devotes himself mainly to his scientific and geometrical studies.

1515 :

Leonardo contributes to the plan to drain the Pontine Marshes and raise the port of Civitavecchia. On the death of Giuliano de’ Medici he is called by Leo X to Florence, then to Bologna and again to Rome. It is probably at this point that he begins to write his description for Deluges.

1516 :

Leonardo receives an invitation from the new French sovereign Francis I (1494-1547) to go and live at the Château du Clos Lucé near Amboise, together with his loyal pupil Francesco Melzi (1492/93-1570). Decorated with the title 'First Painter and Artificer of the King, Engineer of the State', he designs the temporary decorations for various celebrations at court and works on the design of irrigation systems between the Rivers Loire and Saône and of a new residence in Romorantin.

1517 :

At the Château de Blois, Leonardo receives a visit from Cardinal Louis d’Aragon. He shows him the portrait of a Florentine lady – perhaps Mona Lisa (Paris, Louvre) –, a Saint John the Baptist and a Madonna with child seated on the knees of Saint Anne. It is thought that during this period the artist was keen to organise his own manuscripts and publish them in the form of treatises.

1519 :

Leonardo dies and is buried, in accordance with his last wishes, in the cloister of the Church of Saint Florentin in Amboise (which no longer exists today).
His will – written a few weeks previously – appoints Francesco Melzi as executor and heir to his books and instruments 'relative to the condition' of painter, which where returned to Italy in 1520 and kept in the Villa Melzi in Vaprio d’Adda until 1570.

Casa natale di Leonardo da Vinci
Museo Leonardiano di Vinci
La Biblioteca Leonardiana di Vinci
Museo Ideale Leonardo da Vinci
Galleria degli Uffizi
Istituto e Museo di Storia Della Scienza
Biblioteca dell'Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza
Castello Sforzesco
Museo d'Arte e Scienza
Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci
Refettorio del Convento Santa Maria delle Grazie
Château du Clos Lucé Parc Leonardo Da Vinci
Château Royal d'Amboise