Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452, to an illegitimate son of a handmaid and a notary in Tuscany, near Vinci. He was given the place of origin as his surname, as was customary at the time. Leonardo was fortunate that his father recognized his artistic talent early and had his son trained in an artist’s workshop in Florence.
In 1482, Leonardo applied to the Milan court and was hired by Duke Ludovico il Moro. He made himself useful in many areas, including the canal system (Navigli) and the cleanliness of the city, in order to prevent the spread of diseases. One of his passionate areas was man. The image of the Vitruvian Man, with whom he studied proportions, became famous. At night, he secretly studied the inner structure of man by dissecting corpses.
During his time in Milan, he painted, among other things, the Madonna in the rock grotto and the lady with Hermelin, the portrait of a lover of the Duke. For his most famous work, the Last Supper, he took 4 years (1494-1498). The mural is located in the monks ‘ dining room in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Leonardo spent the years in Milan from 1482 to 1499, then returned to Florence and back to Milan in 1504, where he remained until 1512 before the Pope summoned him to Rome. In the years 1503 – 1506 Leonardo painted on the effigy of the Mona Lisa. This work was to accompany him for the rest of his life, carrying it with him until his death in France on May 2, 1519, in Ambois.