Leonardo da Vinci might just be the most famous inventor to have ever lived. It isn’t just his inventions that live on, however, because he was a very accomplished musician and artist as well. His painting of the Mona Lisa is one of the most famous works of art that humanity has ever created and the theories about her slight smile have had people debating for lifetimes about the story behind the painting.
If you would like to get to know da Vinci a little better, then here are some interesting facts about one of history’s most interesting characters.
1. Did da Vinci Hate School?
Except for some basic skills, Leonardo da Vinci didn’t receive any formal education at all. His father instead saw the potential that his son had for art and creativity, so as a teen da Vinci went to study sculpture in Florence. Over the next 6 years, he worked on his technical skills. This including drawing, carpentry, and even metal work. After being accused of sodomy, however, the next years of his life are a bit of a mystery.
2. Completion Was a Rarity for da Vinci
Most of da Vinci’s works were never completed. It might have been because of a perfectionist attitude. After all, he did spend 10 years just painting the lips on the Mona Lisa. On the other hand, there were also some practical limitations to his creative imagination. Building an armored car in the 15th century wasn’t very practical.
3. The Last Supper Was For a Dining Room
Outside of the Mona Lisa, da Vinci’s best known work might just be The Last Supper. It is believed that he worked on this mural for 6 years. Part of that might be because he refused to use the fresco technique and instead painted in layers on the wall. It began to degrade even during his lifetime and has undergone extensive restoration over the centuries. Not bad for dining room art in a Milan monastery.
4. He Wrote Down Everything
Leonardo da Vinci was an avid note taker. He would jot notes down on virtually everything so that he wouldn’t forget some bit of knowledge that he’d obtained. Some of his notes have become quite famous. Bill Gates, in fact, once bought some of his notes for $30 million and it is the only non-European codex that is currently in existence.
5. The Powerful Were Attracted to Him
Even though da Vinci didn’t end up delivering many of his works, he was a very loved artisan and craftsman. He worked for the Pope at one point, the Duke of Milan, and even King Francis I of France. It’s even said that King Francis so badly wanted da Vinci working for him that he gave him a elegant manor. France is where da Vinci died and, as the story goes, the king even cradled his head for him as he breathed his last breath.